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Aira caryophyllea FWS-01.jpg
Aira caryophyllea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Aira
Type species
Aira praecox

Aira is a genus of Old World plants in the grass family, native to western and southern Europe, central and southwest Asia, plus Africa. [4][5]

The common name, shared with the similar related genera Deschampsia and Koeleria, is hair-grass, from the very slender leaves and stems. The species typically occur on dry, sandy sites, and grow to 20–40 cm tall.

Several species are grown as ornamental plants for their very delicate airy seed heads, used in dried flower arrangements.

  1. Aira caryophyllea - Europe, North Africa, alpine Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Caucasus, Tibet
  2. Aira cupaniana - Canary Islands, Mediterranean
  3. Aira elegantissima - Central Europe, Mediterranean, Iran, Caucasus
  4. Aira × hybrida - Switzerland
  5. Aira praecox - Europe, Canary Is, Turkey
  6. Aira provincialis - France incl Corsica
  7. Aira scoparia - Macedonia
  8. Aira tenorei - Mediterranean
  9. Aira uniaristata Portugal, Spain, Libya, Morocco
formerly included[6]

Many species now considered better suited to other genera: Agrostis Antinoria Arundinella Arundo Catabrosa Colpodium Corynephorus Cyrtococcum Deschampsia Ehrharta Eragrostis Eremopoa Eriachne Eustachys Hierochloe Koeleria Molinia Pentameris Peyritschia Poa Puccinellia Rostraria Scolochloa Sesleria Sphenopholis Sporobolus Tricholaena Trisetum etc

See also[edit]


  1. ^ lectotype designated by Hitchcock, International Bot. Congr. Cambridge (England), 1930. Nomenclature. Proposals by British Botanists 114-155 (1929)
  2. ^ Tropicos, Aira L.
  3. ^ Soreng, R. J., G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, E. J. Judziewicz, T. S. Filgueiras & O. Morrone. 2003 and onwards. On-line taxonomic novelties and updates, distributional additions and corrections, and editorial changes since the four published volumes of the Catalogue of New World Grasses (Poaceae) published in Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. vols. 39, 41, 46, and 48. In R. J. Soreng, G. Davidse, P. M. Peterson, F. O. Zuloaga, T. S. Filgueiras, E. J. Judziewicz & O. Morrone (eds.) Internet Catalogue of New World Grasses. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.
  4. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 63-66 in Latin
  5. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Aira
  6. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  7. ^ The Plant List search for Aira