Sporobolus fertilis*

Sporobolus fertilis* (Steud.) Clayton. Kew Bull. 19: 291(1965).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Chloridoideae. Cynodonteae.

Basionym and/or Replacement Name:  Agrostis fertilis Steud., Syn. Pl. Glumac. 1: 170 (1854).

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: LT: Burger s.n., Japan (L-908.97–171; ILT: K, P, L). LT designated by Baaijens & Veldkamp, Blumea 35: 437 (1991).

Recent synonyms: S. indicus var. fertilis, S. indicus var. major.

Key references (books and floras): [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (378).

Illustrations: [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (378).

Habit. Perennial. Culms erect, 80–160 cm tall, 2–5 mm diam. Lateral branches branched. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.2–0.3 mm long. Leaf-blades linear, flat or conduplicate or convolute, 14–50 cm long, 1.5–5 mm wide.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence solid or compound, a panicle, a panicle. Panicle linear, 15–50 cm long, 1–2 cm wide, contracted about primary branches.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 1-flowered, comprising 1 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate, terete, 1.6–2 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate or oblong, without keels, 0 -nerved. Upper glume lanceolate or oblong, 0.8–1.3 mm long, hyaline, without keels, 1 -nerved.

Florets. Fertile lemma 1.6–2 mm long, without keel, 1–3 -nerved. Palea 2 -nerved. Palea apex entire. Anthers 2–3. Grain 0.8–1 mm long.

Continental Distribution: Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, and Pacific.

Australian Distribution: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Christmas Is, Cocos Keeling Is, Ashmore Reef, Coral Sea Is.

Queensland: Cook, Darling Downs, Leichhardt, Moreton, North Kennedy, Port Curtis, South Kennedy, Wide Bay. New South Wales: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, North-Western Slopes. Victoria: Wimmera.

Notes. A serious weed of pastures and roadsides.

 Differs from S. africanus by the smaller spikelets and by the inflorescence branches being less appressed at the base. Although recently documented as being native to Australia (Simon 1993), it is likely that it has been introduced here, as well as to Japan and Taiwan (Jacobs & McClay 1992). It was reported as being the weedy Sporobolus in France (Jovet & Guédès 1968) (as S. indicus var. fertilis) but Veldkamp (1990b) states this to be a misidentification and that the entity in southern France is really S. indicus (as S. indicus var. indicus).

Introduced; mainly from Mossman, Qld to central coastal N.S.W.; of tropical Asian origin, New Guinea and the Pacific region. Flowers spring to autumn.


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