Aristida cumingiana

Aristida cumingiana Trin. & Rupr. Sp.
141 (1842).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily
Aristidoideae. Aristideae.

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: Philippine Islands: Luzon:, H. Cuming 671
(HT: LE; ILT: G-Del, MO-2874635, US-80993 (fragm. ex G-Del)).

Key references
(books and floras):
[1969] E.E.Henty, Manual Grasses New Guinea
(29), [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia.

[2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australiia.

Derivation: in
honor of Hugh Cuming (1791–1865) English naturalist and traveller.

Habit. Annual.
Culms 8–30 cm tall. Mid-culm internodes glabrous. Lateral branches simple. Leaves
cauline. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.2 mm long. Leaf-blades straight,
conduplicate or involute or convolute, 2–7 cm long, 0.5–1 mm wide.

Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle elliptic, effuse, 3–8 cm long, 1.5–4
cm wide.

Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 1-flowered, comprising 1 fertile
floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate, terete, 2–2.5 mm long.

Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Lower glume surface glabrous. Lower glume apex
mucronate. Upper glume lanceolate, 2–3 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1
-nerved. Upper glume surface glabrous. Upper glume apex entire, mucronate.

Fertile lemma 1.5–1.8 mm long, without keel, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex awned, 3
-awned. Median (principal) awn without a column. Lateral lemma awns present.
Palea without keels. Anthers 3.

: Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, and Australasia.

: Queensland.


A. cumingiana has the smallest spikelets in Australian Aristida
species with spikelets to 3 mm long. It is a delicate annual only recently
collected in Australia for the first time and has an unusually widespread distribution
for an Aristida species, extending from Australia to south-east Asia,
China, India and tropical Africa.

in Australia to the north-western tip of Cape York Peninsula: also in New
Guinea and extending throughout south-east Asia to China, India and tropical
Africa. Melaleuca communities on alluvial soil. Flowering and fruiting
June and September.

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