Digitaria hystrichoides

Digitaria hystrichoides Vickery. Contr. New South Wales Natl. Herb.1: 324 (1950).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Panicoideae. Paniceae.

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Australia: New South Wales: Gerelah, Nyngan, 20 Feb 1936, J.C. Butcher s.n. (HT: NSW-8017).

Key references (books and floras): [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (217).

Illustrations: [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (217).

Habit. Perennial. Rhizomes present. Stolons absent. Culms erect or geniculately ascending, 15–60 cm tall, 4–5 -noded. Mid-culm internodes glabrous. Mid-culm nodes glabrous or pubescent or bearded. Lateral branches simple or sparsely branched. Leaf-sheaths hairy. Leaf-sheath auricles absent. Ligule an eciliate membrane, 1–2 mm long, obtuse. Leaf-blades flat, 3–18 cm long, 3–8 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth, indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence subdigitate, with racemose branches. Racemes 5–15, spreading, 15–30 cm long. Central inflorescence axis 6–13 cm long.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled, 2 in the cluster. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, the lower floret barren (rarely male), the upper fertile, comprising 1 basal sterile florets, comprising 1 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate, dorsally compressed, 2.2–3.5 mm long. Rhachilla internodes brief up to lowest fertile floret.

Glumes. Glumes thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate, membranous, 0–1 -nerved. Upper glume elliptic, 1.9–2.5 mm long, membranous, without keels, 3 -nerved. Upper glume surface indumented. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret 100 % of length of spikelet, membranous, 5–7 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 1.7–2.5 mm long, without keel. Lodicules present.

Continental Distribution: Australasia.

Australian Distribution: Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales.

Northern Territory: Central Australia North, Central Australia South. Queensland: Gregory North, Leichhardt, Maranoa, South Kennedy, Warrego, Port Curtis, Burnett, Darling Downs, Mitchell. New South Wales: North Coast, North-Western Slopes, North-Western Plains, South-Western Plains, North Far Western Plains.

Notes. Closely related to D. ammophila.

In tropical and subtropical sub-humid woodlands, semi-arid shrub woodlands, and acacia shrublands. An important forage grass in drier areas. Flowers Nov.-June.

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