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The tribe Paniceae (Poaceae, subfamily Panicoideae, supertribe Panicanae; type genus Panicum L.) comprises about 90 genera, concentrated in the tropics and subtropics but extending into warm temperate regions. In Australia it is the largest grass tribe, with 45 genera and 263 subgeneric taxa, and is of major ecological and economic importance. The objective has been to fulfill the need for an in up to date Australia-wide account, by the development of an automated database using the DELTA system (Dallwitz 1980, 1984). The project was conceived as a large scale test for the practicability of DELTA in a floristic context, and the database for the Paniceae represents an extension to the floristic level of the automated database for grass genera developed and maintained in the Taxonomy Unit, R.S.B.S. (cf. Watson and Dallwitz, 1981 and 1985; Watson, Dallwitz and Johnson 1986; Watson, Aiken, Dallwitz, Lefkovitch and Dube 1986).
The 308 taxa of the Australian Paniceae recognized were described against a character list comprising 208 characters. The character list designed for Digitaria in a pilot project (Webster 1984) was expanded to account for variation in the tribe. It includes a 'comment character' for nomenclature, 42 characters for vegetative features, 52 for inflorescence features, 104 for spikelet details and. one for cytology. Additionally, all taxa are scored as native or introduced, distribution by State, distribution by the botanical regions of Barlow (1984) and the vegetation regions of Moore (1975), moisture requirements and flowering period. General remarks and representative specimen citations are also included, as are pertinent literature citations. The character list should be referred to concerning questions on the concepts of character sequence, the relationship among characters and the relationship among the states of a character. Few types were examined, but type citations are given for most taxa. Data were obtained from comprehensive loans of the Paniceae material from AD, ADW, BRI, CANB, DNA, MEL, NSW, NT and PERTH.