Chloris virgata*

Chloris virgata* Sw. Fl. Ind. Occ.1: 203 (1797).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Chloridoideae. Cynodonteae.

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Antigua:, Swartz s.n. (HT: S; IT: BM).

Key references (books and floras): [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (219), [1969] E.E.Henty, Manual Grasses New Guinea (50), [1981] M.Lazarides in J.Jessop (ed)., Flora of Central Australia (464), [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (346), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (185).

Illustrations: [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (221, Pl. 65), [1983] J.C.Tothill & J.B.Hacker, Grasses of Southern Queensland (156(9)), [2005] K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3 (Fig. 41C, Fig. 43B), [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (347, fig. 279), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (184).

Habit. Annual or ephemeral. Stolons absent or present. Culms erect or geniculately ascending or decumbent, 15–100 cm tall. Ligule a fringed membrane, a ciliolate membrane or a ciliate membrane, 0.8 mm long. Leaf-blades 10–30 cm long, 2–8 mm wide.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence digitate, with spicate branches.

Spikelets. Spikelets sessile or pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 1 or more flowered, with 1 fertile floret, comprising 1–2 fertile floret(s), with diminished florets at the apex, cuneate, laterally compressed, 2.5–4.5 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Upper glume lanceolate, 2.5–4.5 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Upper glume surface smooth.

Florets. Fertile lemma 2.5–4 mm long, keeled, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex entire or dentate, awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn subapical, 5–15 mm long overall. Lodicules present. Anthers 3. Grain 1.5–2 mm long.

Continental Distribution: Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, Pacific, North America, and South America.

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

Western Australia: Gardner, Fitzgerald. Fortescue, Carnarvon, Austin. Avon. Northern Territory: Central Australia North, Central Australia South. South Australia: North-western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens Basin, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty. Queensland: Burke, Burnett, Cook, Darling Downs, Gregory North, Leichhardt, Maranoa, Mitchell, Moreton, North Kennedy, Port Curtis, South Kennedy, Warrego, Wide Bay, Gregory South. New South Wales: North Coast, Central Coast, Central-Western Slopes, South-Western Slopes, North-Western Plains, South-Western Plains, North Far Western Plains, South Far Western Plains. Victoria: Murray Mallee, Riverina.

Notes. Widespread weed and soil stabiliser.

 There is considerable variation in habit and in dimensions of plant, spike and spikelet.

Probably introduced; all mainland states; throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world. Generally a weed of disturbed ground, especially roadsides, where it has sometimes been planted. Recorded in association with saltbush (Atriplex), other grasses and in mulga (Acacia aneura) woodlands, on a variety of soil types such as heavy black soil, grey and brown clays and loams, red sandy soil; flowers summer and autumn; fruits autumn to winter.

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