Aristida holathera

Aristida holathera Domin. Biblioth.
85: 340, t.13. figs 18.19 (1915).

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

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: HT: Domin s.n., Dec 1910, Australia:
Queensland: Cook Dist.: Hugel und Savannenwalder, bei Chillagoe (L-926.361–524
(photo, BRI, K); IT: BRI).

Recent synonyms:
Aristida browniana Henrard, Aristida muelleri Henrard.

Key references
(books and floras):
[1810]. R.Brown, Prodromus (174 as Aristida
), [1878] G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7 (561 as Aristida
), [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae
(165 as Aristida browniana), [1981] M.Lazarides in J.Jessop (ed)., Flora
of Central Australia
(452 as A. browniana), [2002] D.Sharp &
B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2006] J.Jessop,
G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (323), [2008]
S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales

[1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (161,
Pl.48 as A. browniana), [1983] J.C.Tothill & J.B.Hacker, Grasses
of Southern Queensland
(104(13)), [2005] K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of
44B: Poaceae 3 (Fig. 14B as var. holathera, 15A as
var.latifolia), [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses
of South Australia
 (323, Fig. 255 as
var. holathera), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler,
Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (128).

Derivation: Gk.
holos, wholly; ather, spike or ear of wheat. Awn not
disarticulating from base of lemma at maturity.

Habit. Annual
or perennial. Culms 28–128 cm tall, 2–5 -noded. Mid-culm internodes glabrous.
Lateral branches simple or sparsely branched or branched. Leaf-sheaths smooth or
scaberulous, glabrous on surface. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.3–0.5 mm long.
Leaf-blades straight or flexuous, filiform or linear, flat or conduplicate or
involute or convolute, 10–25 cm long, 2–4 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous.

Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle elliptic, 8–41 cm long, 1–10 cm

Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 1-flowered, comprising 1 fertile
floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate, terete, 12–25 mm long.

Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved. Lower glume surface glabrous. Upper glume
lanceolate, 12–25 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Upper glume
surface smooth or asperulous, glabrous. Upper glume apex mucronate.

Fertile lemma 8–13.5 mm long, without keel, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex awned, 3
-awned. Median (principal) awn 52–135 mm long overall, with a twisted column.
Column 18–57 mm long. Lateral lemma awns present. Palea without keels. Anthers
3. Grain 4.8–7.9 mm long.

: Tropical Asia and Australasia.

: Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia,
Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria.

Western Australia:
Gardner, Fitzgerald, Hall, Dampier. Mueller, Canning, Carnegie, Giles, Helms,
Fortescue, Ashburton, Carnarvon, Austin. Irwin, Drummond, Avon, Coolgardie. Northern
: Darwin & Gulf, Victoria River, Barkly Tableland, Central
Australia North, Central Australia South. South Australia:
North-western, Lake Eyre, Nullabor, Gairdner-Torrens Basin, Flinders Ranges,
Eastern, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty. Queensland:
Burke, Cook, Darling Downs, Gregory North, Leichhardt, Maranoa, Mitchell, Moreton,
North Kennedy, Port Curtis, South Kennedy, Warrego, Wide Bay, Burnett, Gregory
South. New South Wales: North-Western Slopes, North-Western Plains,
South-Western Plains, North Far Western Plains, South Far Western Plains. Victoria:
Murray Mallee.

Notes. A.
is a widely distributed species that varies from a weak perennial
or annual arid form (to which the name A. muelleri has been applied) to
a stronger wet-area tropical perennial with its broad leaved form var.
latifolia. It intergrades almost imperceptably into A. contorta at the
arid end of its range, differing only in its longer lemma which is purplish at
maturity. The name A. holathera used to apply only to a form in which
the lemma column was descibed as having a weak articulation and the awns were
reported as being shorter, with the name A. browniana being used for the
more commonly occurring form with a distinct lemma articulation and longer
awns, but these differences were shown not to hold up on close inspection
(Simon 1986).

Widespread over most
of arid Australia and extending into the Philippines.

Infra -specific taxa var. holathera var. latifolia.

Leaf blades to 1.5 mm wide, involute                     A. holathera var. holathera

Leaf blades more than 3 mm wide, flattened        A. holathera var. latifolia

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith