Chrysopogon pallidus

Chrysopogon pallidus (R.Br.) Trin. ex Steud. Nom. Bot. ed 2, 1: 360 (1840).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Panicoideae. Andropogoneae.

Basionym and/or Replacement Name:  Holcus pallidus R. Br., Prodr. 199 (1810).

Key references (books and floras): [1810]. R.Brown, Prodromus (199 as Holcus pallidus), [1878] G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7 (537 as Chrysopogon gryllus var. pallidus), [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (322), [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia.

Habit. Perennial. Culms erect, 100–150 cm tall, 3–5 -noded. Lateral branches sparsely branched. Leaf-sheaths smooth or scaberulous, glabrous on surface or hairy. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.5–0.7 mm long. Leaf-blades conduplicate or convolute, 20–40 cm long, 3–6 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface papillose, glabrous or indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle of rames. Panicle lanceolate or ovate, 18–30 cm long, 3–6 cm wide. Rhachis obsolete.

Spikelets. Spikelets sessile, 1 in the cluster. Companion spikelets pedicelled, 2 in the cluster. Companion spikelets developed, male, 11–14 mm long. Companion spikelet glumes awned. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, the lower floret barren (rarely male), the upper fertile, comprising 1 basal sterile florets, comprising 1 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate or oblanceolate, laterally compressed, 10–13 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes dissimilar, firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong, cartilaginous, without keels, 5–9 -nerved. Lower glume apex muticous or awned. Upper glume lanceolate, keeled, 1-keeled. Upper glume surface smooth or asperulous. Upper glume apex awned. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret hyaline, 2 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 5.5–6.3 mm long, without keel, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex dentate, awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn from a sinus, 42–70 mm long overall, with a twisted column. Column 16–21 mm long. Anthers 3.

Continental Distribution: Australasia.

Australian Distribution: Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland.

Western Australia: Gardner, Dampier. Canning, Carnarvon. Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf, Barkly Tableland, Central Australia North. Queensland: Burke, Cook, Gregory North, North Kennedy.

Notes. Fairly widespread in tropical and subtropical Australia on sandy soils. Although drought resistant and able to withstand grazing it is only of moderate fodder value. Flowers Nov.--Jan.

AVH 2011


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