Aristida perniciosa Domin. Biblioth.
Bot. 85: 340 (1915).
Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily
Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information: HT: K. Domin s.n., Feb 1910, Australia: Queensland: Cook District: Eucalyptus-Walder
bei Mareeba (L (photo, BRI); IT: BRI).
(books and floras):  D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of
 S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South
 J.C.Tothill & J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern
Derivation: L. per,
very; noxius, harmful; -osa, abundance. Callus very sharp and readily
entangling in wool and clothing.
Culms erect, 40–137 cm tall, 1–2 -noded. Mid-culm internodes glabrous. Lateral
branches simple or sparsely branched. Leaf-sheaths smooth or scaberulous,
glabrous on surface or hairy. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.3 mm long.
Leaf-blades curled or flexuous, flat or conduplicate or involute or convolute,
10–20 cm long, 2–3 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous.
Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle linear, 15–39 cm long, 1–1.5 cm
Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 1-flowered, comprising 1 fertile
floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate, terete, 11–18.3 mm long.
Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous,
keeled, 1-keeled, 5 -nerved. Lower glume surface glabrous. Lower glume apex
awned. Upper glume lanceolate, 11–18.3 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1
-nerved. Upper glume surface glabrous or indumented. Upper glume apex entire,
Fertile lemma 7–14 mm long, without keel, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex awned, 3
-awned. Median (principal) awn 21–44 mm long overall, with a twisted column.
Column 5–10 mm long. Lateral lemma awns present. Palea without keels. Anthers
3. Grain 5.4–7.6 mm long.
Distribution: Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland.
Darwin & Gulf. Queensland:
Burke, Burnett, Cook, Leichhardt, North Kennedy, Port Curtis.
The setting up of a new section Perniciosae to accomodate this species
was discussed in Simon, 1992. Lazarides (1980) is correct in observing the
involute lemma and normal glumes, contrary to the illustrations and
descriptions by Domin (1915) and Henrard (1927, 1931).
One record from the
Kimberley region, Western Australia, three from the "top end" of the
Northern Territory, and a number from tropical and subtropical Queensland. Eucalyptus
and Melaleuca communities on sands and loams. Flowering and fruiting
January to July, September (one record).