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Grasses are very important features of the landscape and occur to a greater or lesser extent in all of the vegetation types of southern African. The importance of good grazing grasses for both wild and domesticated animals is well known. Some species are indicators of good or bad veld management and are useful to farmers and conservators. Crop farmers have to deal with undesirable grasses in their fields and the custodians of our indigenous vegetation need to correctly identify any alien invaders.
This identification guide relies primarily on the use of keys and descriptive information to aid the user in identifying a grass species. It contains some of the best information needed to identify southern African grasses. Keys to grass genera and species are provided, and in some instances also keys to easily confused taxa. For each species, a combination of useful characters is provided, and where applicable, line drawings of the spikelet or parts thereof accompany the identification keys. Species descriptions and distribution maps are hugely important and add to the identification of grasses.