Spartochloa Kew Bull. 7: 308 (1952).
Derivation:. From the Greek spartos (broom) and chloe (grass), referring to the almost leafless habit of the plants.
Key references (keys and floras):. B.K.Simon, Key to Australian Grasses 159 (1993); D.Sharp and B.K.Simon, AusGrass (2002).
W.D.Clayton & S.A.Renvoize, Genera Graminum (1986), genus (259).
Native, endemic. 1 species. WA.
Habit. Perennial (a switch plant, with reduced leaf blades and green culms), tufted. Leaf blades narrow (tiny, reduced). Ligule a fringe of hairs.
Inflorescence. Inflorescence paniculate.
Spikelets. Spikelets laterally compressed, pedicelled, unequally pedicelled in each combination; with naked rachilla extension. Fertile spikelets laterally compressed, disarticulating above glumes.
Glumes. Glumes more or less equal, shorter than adjacent lemmas, hairless, pointed, awnless (but mucronate), keeled, similar (membranous). Lower glume 1–3 nerved. Upper glume 3 nerved.
Florets. Fertile florets 3–8. Lemmas similar in texture to glumes (firmly membranous), entire at apex or incised, muticous or mucronate (from a minute sinus), without a germination flap, 5–9 nerved, somewhat 1 keeled. Palea conspicuous and relatively short (about a third of the lemma length), apically notched (hairy at the tip), 2 nerved, 2 keeled. Distal incomplete florets underdeveloped. Lodicules 2. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2. Grain medium sized (about 5 mm long), black, slightly longitudinally grooved, sculptured (pitted). Hilum short. Pericarp thick and hard (black, with minute pits). Embryo small. Endosperm hard.
Kranz Anatomy. C3.
Habitat. Xerophytic. Arid places. Species of open habitats.
Notes. A rare genus with a habit reminiscent of Triodia, and the spikelets hinting at a possible relationship with Tribolium uniolae. It is notable for extreme reduction of the leaf-blades, photosynthetic function being transferred to culm and sheath (Clayton and Renvoize, 1986).
Types Species. S. scirpoidea (Steud.) C.E.Hubbard.
Biogeographic Element. Clifford & Simon 1981, Simon & Jacobs 1990: Endemic.