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Aristida

1. Lateral awns less than 1/3 as long as median awn or absent 2
Lateral awns as long as median awn or more than 1/3 its length 5


2. Awns relatively thick, the central c. 5 mm long; lemma convolute A. thompsonii (QLD)
Awns relatively thin, the central at least 7 mm long; lemma involute 3


3. Lower internodes glabrous; leaf blades setaceous A. spuria (NSW QLD)
Lower internodes hairy; leaf blades flat 4


4. Lemma to 12mm long; glumes to 12 mm long A. utilis var. utilis (NT QLD)
A. streptachne
Lemma more than 17 mm long; glumes more than 15 mm long A. utilis var. grandiflora (QLD)


5. Lemma with an articulation 6
Lemma without an articulation 13


6. Glumes inverse (lower longer than upper) A. polyclados (NT WA QLD)
Glumes normal (not inverse) 7


7. Awns dissimilar, median thicker and usually recurved, laterals slender usually erect and up to 2 cm shorter 8
Awns ± similar and erect, laterals as long as median or shorter by 2-5 mm 10


8. Lateral awns much thinner than median and c. 1/2 length A. granitica (QLD)
Lateral awns slightly thinner than median and more than 1/2 length 9


9. Annual plant 35-50 cm tall; lemma 6-7.5 mm long A. dominii (NT WA QLD)
A. hirta auct.
Perennial plant 60-120 cm tall; lemma 8-12.5 mm long A. superpendens (NT QLD)
A. hirta


10. Column 5.5-8 cm long, c. 1 mm thick A. hygrometrica (NT WA QLD)
Column usually less than 5 cm long, occasionally longer (to 6.5 cm) but then thinner (to 0.3 mm thick) 11


11. Culms ± wavy; lemma (including callus) 5-7 mm long, brownish when mature A. contorta (NSW VIC NT SA WA QLD)
A. arenaria
Culms ± straight; lemma (including callus) 7-10 mm long, purplish when mature 12 (A. holathera)


12. Leaf blades to 1.5 mm wide, involute A. holathera var. holathera (NSW VIC NT SA WA QLD)
A. browniana var. browniana, A. muelleri
Leaf blades more than 3 mm wide, flattened A. holathera var. latifolia (NT WA)
A. browniana var. latifolia


13. Lemma involute, with a furrow on ventral surface of caryopsis 14
Lemma convolute, without a furrow on ventral surface of caryopsis 40


14. Lemma column present A. perniciosa (NSW WA QLD)
Lemma column absent 15


15. Awns unequal, laterals 1/2-2/3 as long as median 16
Awns ± equal or laterals more than 2/3 as long as median 17


16. Culm internodes with pilose hairs, especially at base A. queenslandica var. queenslandica (NSW NT QLD)
Culm internodes glabrous A. queenslandica var. dissimilis (NSW QLD)
A. dissimilis


17. Margins of lemma furrow with one to several rows of tubercles 18
Margins of lemma furrow smooth or lemma muricate towards apex 26


18. Glumes inverse 19
Glumes subequal or normal 23


19. Glumes differing in length by more than 2 mm 20
Glumes differing in length by less than 2 mm 21


20. Lemma with a pseudo-articulation; leaf blades curling up on maturity A. inaequiglumis (NSW SA WA QLD)
Lemma without a pseudo-articulation; leaf blades straight or flexuous A. pruinosa (NT WA QLD)


21. Glumes smooth, (8-)10-14 mm long; lemma 8-10mm long A. calycina var. praealta (NSW QLD)
A. armata, A. prealta
Glumes scaberulous, 5-9(-12) mm long; lemma 5.5-7 mm long 22


22. Lateral awns shorter than median by more than 2 mm A. benthamii var. spinulifera (QLD)
Lateral awns shorter than median by 1-2 mm A. jerichoensis var. subspinulifera (NSW NT SA QLD)


23. Lemma 10-12 mm long A. biglandulosa (NT SA QLD)
A. biglandulosa var. laevis
Lemma up to 9 mm long 24


24. Lemma 4-5.5 mm long, much shorter than glumes, with a pseudo-articulation A. helicophylla (QLD)
Lemma 6-9 mm long, subequal to glumes, without a pseudo-articulation 25


25. Glumes smooth, (8-)10-14 mm long; lemma 8-10 mm long A.  calycina var. praealta (NSW QLD)
A. armata, A. prealta
Glumes scaberulous, 5-9(-12) mm long; lemma 5.5-7 mm long A. jerichoensis var. subspinulifera (NSW NT SA QLD)


26. Lemma with a pseudo-articulation 27
Lemma without a pseudo-articulation 28


27. Glumes differing in length by more than 3 mm A. inaequiglumis (NT SA WA QLD)
Glumes differing in length by less than 3 mm A. ingrata (NT WA QLD)


28. Lemma muricate towards apex 29
Lemma smooth 32


29. Annual or short lived perennial usually less than 30 cm tall; inflorescence a densely congested spike A. anthoxanthoides (NSW NT SA WA QLD)
Perennials more than 50 cm tall; inflorescence a loosely arranged spike 30


30. Lower glume 3-nerved A. exserta (NT WA QLD)
Lower glume 1-nerved 31


31. Glumes to 4.5 mm long; lemma awns to 6 mm
long
A. forsteri (QLD)
Glumes to 12 mm long; lemma awns to 30 mm
long
A. muricata (NSW QLD)


32. Lemma margins distinctly protruding from ventral furrow A. lazaridis (NT WA QLD)
Lemma margins not protruding or if so, not distinctly 33


33. Glumes more than 13 mm long 34
Glumes less than 12 mm long 35


34. Lower glume 3-nerved A. sciuroides (QLD)
A. borealis
Lower glume 1-nerved A. biglandulosa (NT SA QLD)
A. biglandulosa var. laevis


35. Lateral awns shorter than median by 1-2 mm A. jerichoensis var. jerichoensis (NSW QLD)
Lateral awns shorter than median by more than 2 mm 36


36. Lemma 3.5-5.5 mm long A. benthamii var. benthamii (NSW TAS QLD)
Lemma more than 6 mm long 37


37. Lower glume 3-nerved A. sciuroides (QLD)
A. borealis
Lower glume 1-nerved 38


38. Glumes acuminate to awned; inflorescence branches usually naked in lower 1/2 A. acuta (NSW QLD)
Glumes acute to obtuse; inflorescence branches usually bearing spikelets from base 39


39. Leaf blades filiform and arranged basally on culm A. calycina var. filifolia (QLD)
Leaf blades not as above A. calycina var. calycina (NSW VIC NT WA QLD)
A. glumaris


40. Lemma with a twisted column (sometimes reduced to a 1/2 spiral) 41
Lemma without a column 48


41. Lower glume 3-7-nerved 42
Lower glume 1-nerved 43


42. Awns similar A. schultzii (NT QLD)
Awns dissimilar, median thicker and recurved at maturity A. warburgii (NSW QLD)
A. heterochaeta, A. intricata


43. Glumes differing in length by up to 2 mm A.  latifolia (NSW NT SA WA QLD)
Glumes differing in length by up to 3-4 mm 44


44. Inflorescence loose to open with branches naked at base 45
Inflorescence ± spike-like with branches bearing spikelets from base 46


45. Column of many spirals A. macroclada subsp. queenslandica (QLD)
Column of 1/2-1 spiral A. macroclada subsp. macroclada (NT QLD)
A. novaeguineae


46.

47.

Column of at least 1 complete spiral; lemma
scabrous on margin apically
A. psammophila (NSW QLD)
Column of a 1/2 spiral; lemma scabrous all
over apically

47


Lemma scabrous all over apically; lemma awns 15-25 mm long; inflorescence 3-6 mm wide A. longicollis(NT QLD) 
 Lemma not scabrous apically or if so only on one margin; lemma awns 9-18 mm long; inflorescence 0.5-2 cm wide
 A. jacobsiana  (NT QLD)
   
48. Spikelet (excluding awns) up to 3 mm long A. cumingiana (QLD)
Spikelet (excluding awns) more than 5 mm long 49


49. Lemma extended beyond both glumes 50
Lemma not extended beyond both glumes 58


50. Lower glume c. 4mm long; upper glume less than 7 mm long 51
Lower glume more than 5 mm long; upper glume more than 7mm long 52


51. Inflorescence 3-7 x 1-4 cm, ovate in outline A. caput-medusae (NSW QLD)
Inflorescence larger, irregular in outline A. vagans (NSW QLD)


52. Culms bushy with many fine branches A. gracilipes (NSW QLD)
Culms not bushy, if much branched then robust, otherwise slender with few branches 53


53. Glumes acute to shortly aristulate 54
Glumes distinctly aristulate 56


54. Inflorescence loose to open A. personata (NSW SA QLD)
A. ramosa var. speciosa
Inflorescence ± contracted or with branches which are ± contracted 55


55. Lemma ± twice length of glumes A. ramosa x A. vagans (NSW)
Lemma slightly longer than glumes A. ramosa (NSW VIC SA WA QLD)


56. Lemma scabrous all over apically; culms very robust and woody A. lignosa (NSW QLD)
  A. sp. Keep River N.P.
   
Lemma scabrous only on margin apically; culms slender to robust 57


57. Culms 25-45cm tall with inflorescence 5-8 cm long A. leichhardtiana (NSW QLD)
Culms 60-120cm tall with inflorescence 10-30 cm long A. personata (NSW SA QLD)
A. ramosa var. speciosa


58. Lower glume longer than or subequal to upper glume, 3-nerved A. kimberleyensis (WA)
Lower glume shorter than or equal to upper glume, 1-nerved 59


59. Lemma shorter than or equal to upper glume 60
Lemma shorter than or subequal to lower glume 69


60. Upper glume more than 12 mm long 61
Upper glume less than 12 mm long 64


61. Inflorescence longer than wide A. vickeryae (NSW)
Inflorescence ± as long as wide 62


62. Inflorescence 14-25 cm long and almost as wide; spikelets terminal on inflorescence branches A. leptopoda (NSW QLD)
Inflorescence 6-12 cm long and wide; spikelets evenly distributed in inflorescence 63


63. Peduncle terete; lemma ± smooth A. behriana (NSW VIC SA)
Peduncle compressed; lemma densely scabrous A. obscura (NSW NT SA WA QLD)


64. Lemma tuberculate apically A. echinata (NSW QLD)
A. ramosa var. scaberula
Lemma smooth or scabrous to some degree apically 65


65. Lemma scaberulous apically A. longicollis (NT QLD)
Lemma smooth or slightly or marginally scabrous apically 66


66. Glumes acute to shortly aristulate 67
Glumes distinctly aristulate 68


67. Inflorescence ± contracted A. ramosa (NT QLD)
Inflorescence loose to open A. personata (NSW SA QLD)
A. ramosa var. speciosa


68. Culms 25-45 cm tall with inflorescence 5-8 cm tall A. leichhardtiana (NT QLD)
Culms 60-120 cm tall with inflorescence 10-30 cm tall A. personata (NSW SA QLD)
A. ramosa var. speciosa


69. Lemma smooth or minutely scaberulous or scabrous only along margins 70
Lemma tuberculate to distinctly scabrous all over apically 74


70. Inflorescence loose and open; annual A. annua (QLD)
Inflorescence spicate; perennials 71


71. Lemma smooth with a marginal band of spines A. burbidgeae (WA)
Lemma smooth all over or minutely scaberulous 72


72. Glumes unequal; leaves flat to convolute, not rigid A. australis (SA)
Glumes ± equal; leaves filiform and rigid 73


73. Lemma 7-9 mm long with flattened awns A. latzii (NT)
Lemma c. 6 mm long with slender awns A. burraensis (QLD)


74. Inflorescence loose and open A. blakei (NSW NT QLD)
Inflorescence congested to spicate 75


75. Lemma tuberculate-spiny 76
Lemma distinctly scabrous 78


76. Lemma less than 6 mm long; leaf blades flat and curly A. platychaeta (NSW QLD)
Lemma more than 6.5 mm long; leaf blades filiform or conduplicate or if flat not curly 77


77. Glumes ± equal A. nitidula (NSW NT SA WA QLD)
Glumes unequal A. arida (NT SA)


78. Lemma 8.5-12 mm long; leaf blades conduplicate or flat A. strigosa (NSW NT SA WA QLD)
Lemma 5-8.5 mm long; leaf blades filiform A. capillifolia (NT SA WA)

Key to Aristida derived from Lazarides 1980b; Simon 1984b, 1986c, 1992b, 1994; Simon 2005

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith