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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This dwarf grass is easy to overlook, particularly when it grows in close proximity to other grasses. For a Poa sp. (bluegrass), it has short leaf blades and rather plump-looking seedheads. It is fairly easy to identify because of its small size and low sprawling stems. To determine the technical characteristics of this and other bluegrasses, it is highly desirable to use a good 10x hand lens, or even a field microscope. Such instruments can be used to detect the presence (or absence) of hairs along the veins and bases of the lemmas. Some bluegrasses superficially resemble Eragrostis spp. (love grasses), but the latter have tufts of hair at the junctions of their blades and sheaths. Bluegrasses lack such tufts of hair.
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This grass is a spring or fall annual that completes its life cycle within a short period of time (about 6 weeks). It is usually quite small, consisting of a low tuft of vegetation about 4" across and 1½" tall. However, substantially larger plants are sometimes observed. The typical plant has sprawling culms about 2½" long that are unbranched, except at the base. They are light green, glabrous, terete, and largely covered by the sheaths. The blades of the alternate leaves are 1½" long and 2-3 mm. across; they are dull to bright green, hairless, and keel-shaped at their tips. The leaf sheaths are light to medium green, hairless, open, and longitudinally veined. At the junctions of sheaths and blades, the ligules consist of short chaffy membranes.
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Brief

Flowering class: Monocot Habit: Herb
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Description

Erect or decumbent annual (very rarely perennial), 5–30 cm. Leaves: ligule 2–3 mm; lamina 1.5–10 × 0.1–0.5 cm, flat, keeled, often transversely wrinkled. Panicle 1–8 cm, ± triangular; branches usually 2 together, often becoming reflexed after flowering. Spikelets 3–5 mm, 3–5-flowered, lanceolate; lower glume ovate or lanceolate, 1-veined; upper 3-veined; lemma ovate, 5-veined, margin and apex broadly hyaline.
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Derivation of specific name

annua: annual
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Annual Bluegrass is common in most areas of Illinois, although it hasn't been collected from all counties (see Distribution Map). It is native to Eurasia, but not North America. Habitats include damp paths in meadows, damp paths in woodlands, fields and pastures, lawns and gardens, vacant lots, and waste ground. Disturbed areas are strongly preferred. This grass is more abundant during the spring than the autumn. Faunal Associations
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Range Description

This plant is a very widespread and common species with a cosmopolitan distribution throughout temperate regions of both hemispheres, and in tropical highland regions. It is not generally found in arid areas or deserts. The species has historically been introduced in many areas and it is not easy to distinguish the introduced range from the native range. Recorded from sea level up to 4,800 m.
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"
Global Distribution

Cosmopolitan

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Idukki

"
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Distribution in Egypt

Nile region, Oases, Mediterranean region and Sinai.

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Global Distribution

Cosmopolitan.

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Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam; Africa, SW Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America, Pacific Islands].
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Distribution: Pakistan (Baluchistan, Punjab, N.W.F.P. & Kashmir); cosmopolitan, but avoiding deserts and hot climates.
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Cosmopolitan.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Tufted annual or short-lived perennial; culms 5-30cm high, erect, spreading or prostrate, sometimes with a creeping base rooting from the nodes, slightly compressed. Leaf-blades flat or folded, 1-14cm long, 1–2(–5)mm wide, flaccid, abruptly tapered to a pointed or bluntly hooded tip, often transversely wrinkled, scaberulous on the margins; ligule blunt, 2–5mm long. Panicle ovate or pyramidal, (1–)3–8(–12)cm long, loose or rather dense; branches paired, spreading or de-flexed after anthesis, smooth. Spikelets with 3–5(-10) closely spaced florets, ovate or oblong, 3–10mm long, pale or bright green, reddish or purplish; glume unequal, the lower lanceolate to ovate, 1.5–3mm long, 1–nerved, the upper elliptic or oblong, 2–4mm long, 3–nerved; lemmas semi-elliptic or oblong in side-view, 2.5–4mm long, blunt, glabrous or sparsely to densely ciliate on the keel and nerves, without any wool at the base; palea nearly as long as the lemma, ciliate all along the keels; anthers 0.6–0.8(–1)mm long.
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Physical Description

Annuals, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems mat or turf forming, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stems compressed, flattened, or sulcate, Stems branching above base or distally at nodes, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly basal, below middle of stem, Leaves c onspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath or blade keeled, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades very narrow or filiform, less than 2 mm wide, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence with 2-10 branches, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spike lets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes keeled or winged, Glumes 3 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 5-7 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma body or surface hairy, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Annuals, sometimes over wintering, infrequently stoloniferous. Culms loosely tufted, erect or oblique, often decumbent, often geniculate, soft, 6–30(–45) cm tall, smooth, nodes 1 or 2(or 3), 1(or 2) exserted. Leaf sheath slightly compressed, thin, smooth, uppermost closed for ca. 1/3 of length; blade light to dark green, flat or folded, thin, 2–12 cm × (0.8–)1–3.5 mm, margins slightly scabrid, apex acutely prow-tipped; ligules 0.6–3 mm, abaxially smooth, glabrous, apex obtuse, margin irregularly dentate, smooth. Panicle open, moderately congested, broadly ovoid to pyramidal, (1–)3–10 cm, as long as wide; branches ascending, spreading, or a few reflexed, 1 or 2(–3) per node, smooth, longest with usually 3–5 spikelets in distal 1/2. Spikelets ovate to oblong, dark to light green, (3–)4–5.5 mm, florets 3–5, distal fertile florets often female; vivipary absent; rachilla internodes 0.5–1.5 mm, smooth, glabrous, hidden or exposed; glumes unequal, smooth or rarely keeled with hooks, lower glume lanceolate and acute to subflabellate and obtuse, 1.5–2(–3) mm, 1-veined, upper glume elliptic, 2–3(–4) mm, 3-veined, the margin angled; lemmas ovate, 2.2–3.5 mm, apex and margins broadly membranous, intermediate veins prominent, keel and marginal, and usually intermediate, veins villous in the lower 1/2, rarely glabrous throughout; callus glabrous; palea keels smooth, densely pilulose to short villous. Anthers 0.6–1 mm, usually at least 2 × as long as wide, or vestigial. Fl. Apr–May, fr. Apr–Jul. 2n = 28.
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Elevation Range

2300-3500 m
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Annuals; culms 15-20 cm high, tufted; nodes glabrous. Leaves 5-10 x 0.2-0.3 cm; rounded at base, glabrous; sheath keeled, glabrous; ligule membranous. Panicle 5-6 x 2 cm, contracted; branches filiform, glabrous. Spikelets similar, 5-6 mm long, ovate, glabrous; lower glume 2 x 0.5 mm, lanceolate, 1-nerved; upper glume 2.5 x 1 mm, ovate, acute, 3-nerved; florets 2-4, similar; upper florets exerted; lemmas 3 x 1 mm, ovate-lanceolate, 3-5-nerved, hairy along the nerves; palea 3 x 0.75 mm, lanceolate, 2-nerved; stamens 3; ovary oblong; style short or absent."
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Synonym

Poa annua f. reptans (Haussknecht) T. Koyama; P. annua var. reptans Haussknecht; P. crassinervis Honda.
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Type Information

Isotype for Poa annua var. rigidiuscula L.H. Dewey
Catalog Number: US 556793
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Status verified from secondary sources
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. H. Sandberg
Year Collected: 1892
Locality: Idaho, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Dewey, L. H. 1895. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 3: 262.
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Type fragment for Poa aestivalis J. Presl & C. Presl
Catalog Number: US 2851274
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): T. P. X. Haenke
Locality: Monte Rey, Peru, South America
  • Type fragment: Presl, J. S. & Presl, C. B. 1830. Reliq. Haenk. 1: 272.
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Type fragment for Poa meyenii Nees
Catalog Number: US 2851275
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): F. J. F. Meyen
Locality: Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America
  • Type fragment: Nees von Esenbeck, C. G. D. 1841. Nova Acta Acad. Caes. Leop.-Carol. German. Nat. Cur. 19 (suppl. 1): 31.
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Isotype for Poa annua var. rigidiuscula L.H. Dewey
Catalog Number: US 914412
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Status verified from secondary sources
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. H. Sandberg & et al.
Year Collected: 1892
Locality: Lapwai Agency, Nez Perces Co., Idaho, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Dewey, L. H. 1895. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 3: 262.
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Type fragment for Aira pumila Pursh
Catalog Number: US 76309
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. Clayton
Locality: On barren clay soil, near brick yards., Pennsylvania, United States, North America
  • Type fragment: Pursh, F. T. 1814. Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 76.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Annual Bluegrass is common in most areas of Illinois, although it hasn't been collected from all counties (see Distribution Map). It is native to Eurasia, but not North America. Habitats include damp paths in meadows, damp paths in woodlands, fields and pastures, lawns and gardens, vacant lots, and waste ground. Disturbed areas are strongly preferred. This grass is more abundant during the spring than the autumn. Faunal Associations
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Poa annua has a widespread ecological distribution, and is one of the world's worst weeds and thrives in anthropogenic habitats. This species is a potential seed contaminant.



Systems
  • Terrestrial
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General Habitat

Grasslands at high elevations
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Weed of disturbed, often moist and shady ground; near sea level to 4800 m.
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Associations

Plant / epiphyte
fruitbody of Athelia pyriformis grows on living Poa annua

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Blumeria graminis parasitises live Poa annua

Foodplant / parasite
conidial anamorph of Entyloma irregulare parasitises live leaf of Poa annua

Foodplant / gall
stroma of Epichlo causes gall of stem of Poa annua

Foodplant / pathogen
acervulus of Colletotrichum coelomycetous anamorph of Glomerella graminicola infects and damages root of Poa annua

Foodplant / pathogen
Labyrinthula infects and damages Poa annua

Foodplant / pathogen
strand of Laetisaria fuciformis infects and damages dying plant of Poa annua
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Marasmius curreyi is saprobic on dead, decayed stem of Poa annua

Foodplant / pathogen
Fusarium anamorph of Monographella nivalis infects and damages leaf sheath (usually close to stem base) of Poa annua
Remarks: season: mainly 10-3
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Oulema melanopus/rufocyanea agg. feeds on leaf of Poa annua
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous, long covered by epidermis telium of Puccinia brachypodii var. poae-nemoralis parasitises live leaf of Poa annua

Foodplant / parasite
uredium of Puccinia graminis f.sp. poae parasitises live stem of Poa annua

Foodplant / parasite
sparse uredium of Puccinia poarum parasitises live leaf of Poa annua

Foodplant / spot causer
Spermospora anamorph of Spermospora poagena causes spots on live leaf of Poa annua

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Population Biology

Frequency

Frequent
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: July-September
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Flower/Fruit

Fl. & Fr. Per.: throughout most of the year, especially March-September.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Poa annua

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Poa annua

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 25
Specimens with Barcodes: 52
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Brummitt, N.

Reviewer/s
Scott, J.A.

Contributor/s

Justification

Poa annua is an extremely common and widespread species with no known threats; it is an early colonizer of bare ground, is a common lawn grass and 'one of the world's worst weeds'; Least Concern is the most appropriate category for this species.

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Population

Population

There is no detailed population information on this species, but it is very widespread and common and is likely to be increasing given its invasive capabilities.


Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats

There are no particular threats to this species.


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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

The species is common, no conservation action is needed. It occurs in many protected areas across its extensive range.


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Wikipedia

Poa annua

Poa annua, or annual meadow grass (known in America more commonly as annual bluegrass or simply poa), is a widespread low-growing turfgrass in temperate climates. Though P. annua is commonly considered a solely annual plant due to its name, perennial bio-types do exist. 'Poa' is Greek for fodder. It is one of the sweetest grasses for green fodder, but less useful than hay. This grass may have originated as a hybrid between Poa supina and Poa infirma.[1]

Description[edit]

It has a slightly creeping, fibrous, rootstock. The stem grows from 15–25 cm high. It is slightly flattened, due to being folded rather than rolled.

The panicle is open and triangular shaped, 5 to 7.5 cm long. The spikelets are stalked, awnless, 1 to 2 cm long when flowering, and loosely arranged on delicate paired or spreading branches. Sometimes they are tinged purple.

The vivid green leaves are short and blunt at the tips, shaped like the prow of a small canoe. They are soft and drooping. Long sheaths clasp the stem. The leaves are smooth above and below, with finely serrated edges. Occasionally the leaves are serrated transversely.

The ligule is pointed and silvery. Compared this to Common Meadowgrass Poa pratensis, which has a squared ligule, and Poa trivialis, which has a pointed, but less silvery ligule.

The leaves are smooth above and below, with finely serrated edges. Occasionally the leaves are serrated transversely.

It is in flower all year around except for severe winters. The seeds ripen and are deposited 8 months of the year. The plant grows rapidly from seed, flowering within 6 weeks, seeding and then dying.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is a common weed of cultivation, known in the Americas as annual bluegrass.[3] It occurs as a common constituent of lawns, where it is also often treated as a weed, and grows on waste ground. Many golf putting greens, including the famously fast Oakmont Country Club greens, are annual bluegrass,[4] although many courses have converted to creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera).

It has appeared on King George Island in the Antarctic South Shetland Islands as an invasive species,[5] as well as on Australia's subantarctic Heard and Macquarie Islands.

References[edit]

  1. ^ collins pocket guide Grasses, Sedges, Rushes and Ferns. fitter.R, Fitter.A, Farrer.A.1995. page 54
  2. ^ BSBI Description retrieved 10 December 2010.
  3. ^ Ohlendorf, B.; D. W. Cudney, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside; C. L. Elmore, Vegetable Crops/Weed Science, UC Davis; and V. A. Gibeault, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside (April 2003). "Annual Bluegrass Management Guidelines--UC IPM". University of California. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  4. ^ Dvorchak, Robert (2007-06-13). "Oakmont-inspired Stimpmeter allows USGA to accurately measure speed, consistency of putting surfaces". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  5. ^ Antarctic ecology: Polar invaders, The Economist, Mar 6th 2012
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Notes

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Annual Meadow-grass is a very common weedy species found in a variety of habitats. 1400-4300m.
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Poa annua is easily distinguished from other short-anthered Poa, other than P. infirma, by the annual habit, absence of a web on the callus, and the near absence of hooks on the panicle branches and spikelet bracts, in combination with densely pubescent palea keels that lack hooked prickle hairs at the apex. Plants with glabrous florets are sporadically encountered.

Plants perennating by short stolons rooting at the nodes appear to develop repeatedly but sporadically at various elevations with prolonged, cool, mesic growing conditions, possibly in response to trampling. These are sometimes placed in var. reptans. Such plants have been recorded from Yunnan.

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