Aira praecox*

Aira praecox* L. Sp. Pl. 1:
62 (1753). Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Pooideae.
Tribe Poeae.

Common name:
Early Hairgrass.

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: CT: (LINN-85.21). LT designated by Cope, Taxon 41:
556 (1992); CT proposed by Jarvis, Taxon 41: 556 (1992).

Key references
(books and floras):
[1878] G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7 (585),
[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 (189),
[2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South
(113), [2009] A.Wilson (ed.). Flora of Australia, Vol 44A. Poaceae
2 (262).

[2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (189, fig. 138), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs,
R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn

Latin for early. Flowering early in the spring.

Habit. Annual.
Culms erect, 2–25 cm tall, 2–3 -noded. Mid-culm internodes glabrous or
pubescent. Leaves mostly basal or cauline. Ligule an eciliate membrane, 1.5–4.3
mm long, entire, obtuse. Leaf-blades filiform, conduplicate or involute or
convolute, 0.5–5 cm long, 0.3–0.6 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth or
scaberulous, indumented.

Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle linear or oblong, 0.5–4.5 cm long,
0.2–0.8 cm wide.

Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2
fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, oblong to ovate, laterally
compressed, 3–3.8 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes
similar, thinner than fertile lemma, shiny. Lower glume ovate, membranous, much
thinner above, much thinner on margins, keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved. Upper
glume ovate, 3–3.8 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 2.5–3.5 mm long, without keel, 5 -nerved. Lemma apex dentate,
awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn dorsal, 3.4–4.3 mm long overall, with a
twisted column. Palea 2 -nerved. Lodicules present. Anthers 3. Grain 1.4–1.6 mm

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

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

Western Australia:
Menzies, Eyre. New South Wales: Central Coast. Victoria: East
Gippsland, Gippsland Plain, Grampians, Midlands, Otway Plain, Wilsons
Promontory, Snowfields, Volcanic Plain, Wannon. Tasmania: North West,
North East, West Coast, Central Highlands, Ben Lomond, East Coast, South West,
Mt Field, Mt Wellington.

Introduced. Temperate Australia excluding S. Australia. Native to Europe, also
naturalised in the Americas and New Zealand. Usually a weed of sandy soils.
Flowers July-Dec. Fruits Dec.-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