Greek koix – reed-leaved plant.
Annual or perennial grasses, sometimes to 4 m tall and with prop roots. Leaves flat. Flower clusters axillary, compound, consisting of 2 racemes, 1 stalkless and female with more or less round beaked glumes, the other stalked and male, protruding from the hard female outer coating. Spikelets in 2s or 3s, the axis reduced.
Generally grown as an ornamental curiosity.
The fruits are sometimes used as beads or for other crafts. C. gigantea is used as a source of salt in New Guinea.
Male and female spikelets separated but in the same inflorescence; female spikelet enclosed within a prominent hard case; fruit bead-like.
5 species from tropical east Asia. Australia has 1 native species and 1 naturalised.
Source: (2005). Poaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.