True Grass (Family Poaceae)
The Poaceae (also called Gramineae or True Grasses) are a large
and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants.
With more than 10,000 domesticated and wild species, the Poaceae
are the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchid-
aceae, Fabaceae, and Rubiaceae. Though commonly called "grass-
es", seagrasses, rushes, and sedges fall outside this family. The rush-
es and sedges are related to the Poaceae, being members of the Or-
der Poales, but the seagrasses are members of Order Alismatales.
The True Grass Family is one of the most widely distributed and
abundant groups of plants on Earth. Grasses are found on every con-
tinent, and are absent only from central Greenland and much of
Domestication of poaceous cereal crops such as maize (corn), wheat,
rice, barley, and millet lies at the foundation of sedentary living and
civilization around the world, and the Poaceae still constitute the
most economically important plant family in modern times, provid-
ing forage, building materials (bamboo, thatch) and fuel (ethanol),
as well as food.
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