From Medicinal Plants Usage
Lygeum is a genus of Mediterranean plants in the grass family.<ref>Linnaeus, Carl von. 1754. Genera Plantarum, ed. 5 27, (522). </ref><ref>Abdeddaim-Boughanmi, K. and M. Kaid-Harche. (2009). Structure, ultrastructure of the anther, pollen microsporogenesis and morphology of pollen grains of two populations of Lygeum spartum L. in Algeria. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences 4(3), 201-05.</ref> It is placed in its own tribe Lygeeae, which is sister to Nardeae.<ref name="SorengPeterson2015">Template:Cite journal Template:Open access</ref>
The only known species is Lygeum spartum, commonly called esparto grass<ref name=i/><ref>Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Lygeum, Sparto steppico, Esparto Grass</ref> or albardine.<ref name=grin/>It is native to southern Europe and North Africa, where its distribution includes Crete, Italy, Spain, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia.<ref name=grin>Lygeum spartum. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).</ref><ref name=itis>Lygeum spartum. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).</ref> It is similar to Stipa tenacissima<ref name=gar>Garcı́a-Fuentes, A., et al. (2001). Review of communities of Lygeum spartum L. in the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula (western Mediterranean). Journal of Arid Environments 48(3), 323-39.</ref> and both species are used to produce a fiber product known as esparto or esparto grass.<ref name=wats>Watson, L. and M. J. Dallwitz. 1992 onwards. Lygeum. The Grass Genera of the World. DELTA – DEscription Language for TAxonomy. Version: 18 December 2012.</ref>
Lygeum spartum is a rhizomatous perennial grass growing up to 75 centimeters tall.<ref name=clay>Clayton, W. D., et al. (2006 onwards). Lygeum. GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora.</ref> The rhizome and the base of the stem are scaly.<ref name=fop>Lygeum spartum. Flora of Pakistan.</ref> The leaves are threadlike but stiff<ref name=clay/> and tough, measuring up to 50 centimeters long.<ref name=fop/> The inflorescence is made up of a few long-haired spikelets each up to 4.5 centimeters long. They are wrapped in a lance-shaped bract called a spatheole.<ref name=clay/> This sheath is 3 to 9 centimeters long and can have a sharp point.<ref name=fop/>
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