Aira caryophyllea*

Aira caryophyllea* L. Sp. Pl. 1:
66 (1753).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Pooideae.
Tribe Poeae.

Common name:
Silver Hair Grass, Silvery Hair Grass.

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: LT: Anon., Europe (LINN-85.22). LT
designated by Clayton in Milne-Redhead & Polhill (ed.), Fl. Trop. E.
, Gramineae 1: 84 (1970).

Key references
(books and floras):
[1878] G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7 (585),
[1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (39),
[2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2002]
J.Wheeler, N.Marchant & M.Lewington, Flora of the South West (396), [2006]
J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (186),
[2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South
(112), [2009] A.Wilson (ed.). Flora of Australia, Vol 44A. Poaceae
2 (261 as spp. caryphyllea).

[2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australiia, [2006]
J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (187, fig. 135), [1984] N.T.Burbidge. rev.
S.W.L.Jacobs, Australian Grasses  (43), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley &
D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (112), [2009].
A.Wilson (ed.), Flora of Australia 44A: Poaceae 2 (260, Fig.35 as
subsp. caryophylla).

foliage resembling that of Dianthus caryophyllus (the Carnation or

Habit. Annual.
Culms erect, 3–40(–55) cm tall, 2–3 -noded. Leaves mostly basal. Ligule an
eciliate membrane, 2–5 mm long, erose, obtuse. Leaf-blades filiform,
conduplicate or involute, 0.5–5.5 cm long, 0.3–1 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface
scaberulous, indumented.

Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle ovate, 1–12 cm long, (2–)3.5–10(–14)
cm wide.

Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2
fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, oblong to ovate, laterally
compressed, 2.3–3.1 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes
similar, thinner than fertile lemma, shiny. Lower glume ovate, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved. Upper glume ovate, 2–3.1 mm long, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved.

Fertile lemma (1.8–)2–2.4(–2.6) mm long, without keel, 5 -nerved. Lemma apex
dentate, awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn dorsal, 2.6–3.6 mm long
overall, with a twisted column. Palea 2 -nerved. Lodicules present. Anthers 3.
Grain 1.1–1.25 mm long.

: Europe, Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia,
Pacific, North America, South America, and Antarctica.

: Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South
Wales, Victoria, Tasmania.

Western Australia:
Drummond, Dale, Menzies, Warren, Eyre. South Australia: Flinders Ranges,
Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo
Island, South-eastern. Queensland: Darling Downs. New South Wales:
Central Coast, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands,
South-Western Slopes. Victoria: Lowan Mallee, Murray Mallee. Tasmania:
Furneaux Group, North West, North East, West Coast, Central Highlands, Ben
Lomond, East Coast, South West, Mt Wellington.

Notes. Introduced.
Throughout Australia except the N.T. Europe. Widespread in pastures and
disturbed grassland. Flowers Sept.-Dec.


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