Digitaria velutina*

Digitaria velutina* (Forssk.) P. Beauv. Ess. Agrostogr. 51, 173 (1812).

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

Basionym and/or Replacement Name:  Phalaris velutina Forssk., Fl. Aegypt.-Arab.17 (1775).

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: HT: Forsskal 115, Mar 1763, Yemen: Bolghose (C; IT: C).

Key references (books and floras): [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (221).

Illustrations: [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (221).

Habit. Annual. Rhizomes absent. Stolons absent. Culms decumbent, 20–80 cm tall, 2–5 -noded. Mid-culm internodes glabrous. Mid-culm nodes glabrous. Lateral branches simple or sparsely branched. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Leaf-sheath auricles present. Ligule an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades linear or lanceolate, flat, 2–15 cm long, 3–17 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth, indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence subdigitate, with racemose branches. Racemes (3–)7–20, 3–13 cm long. Central inflorescence axis 1–7 cm long.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled, 2 in the cluster. 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, elliptic, dorsally compressed, 1.5–2.1 mm long. Rhachilla internodes brief up to lowest fertile floret.

Glumes. Glumes dissimilar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate. Upper glume lanceolate, 1.2–1.6 mm long, membranous, without keels, 3 -nerved. Upper glume surface indumented. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret 100 % of length of spikelet, membranous, 7 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 1.5–2.1 mm long, without keel, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex muticous. Lodicules present.

Continental Distribution: Africa, Temperate Asia, Australasia, and South America.

Australian Distribution: New South Wales.

New South Wales: Central Coast.

Notes. Introduced. Known from collections at the Sydney Botanical Gardens, where seeds were introduced from Uganda in the early part of this century. This species could potentially spread to the more tropical regions of Australia, preferring coarse-textured soils in open areas. Flowers Jan.-May.

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