Poaceae

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There are 12 subfamilies:
Subfamily Anomochlooideae
Subfamily Pharoideae
Subfamily Puelioideae
Subfamily Bambusoideae
Subfamily Pooideae
Subfamily Ehrhartoideae
Subfamily Arundinoideae
Subfamily Centothecoideae
Subfamily Chloridoideae
Subfamily Panicoideae
Subfamily Danthonioideae
Subfamily Micrairoideae

Poaceae (formerly known as Gramineae) is a family in the Class Liliopsida (the monocots) of the flowering plants. Plants of this family are usually called grasses, or, to distinguish them from other graminoids, true grasses; the shrub- or tree-like plants in this family are called bamboo (there are also herbaceous, non-woody bamboos). There are about 600 genera and some 9,000–10,000 or more species of grasses (Kew Index of World Grass Species)[Full citation needed].

Plant communities dominated by Poaceae are called grasslands; it is estimated that grasslands comprise 20% of the vegetation cover of the earth. Grass species also occur in many other habitats that are not formally considered to be grasslands, including different types of wetlands (e.g., fens, marshes), forests and tundra.

Poaceae is often considered to be the most important of all plant families to human economies: it includes the staple food grains and cereal crops grown around the world, lawn and forage grasses, and bamboo, which is widely used for construction throughout east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Civilization was founded largely on the ability to domesticate cereal grass crops around the world.

The term "grass" is also applied to plants that are not members of the Poaceae lineage, including the rushes (Juncaceae) and sedges (Cyperaceae). This broad and general use of the word ‘grass’ has led to plants of the Poaceae often being called "true grasses".

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