Eriachne festucacea

Eriachne festucacea F. Muell. Fragm. 5: 205 (1866).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily
Micrairoideae. Eriachneae.

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: HT: F. Mueller s.n., Nov 1855, Australia:
Northern Territory: Victoria River District: gravelly banks of Victoria River

Key references
(books and floras):
[1878] G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7 (630),
[1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (48),
[2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia.

Perennial. Culms erect, 53–105 cm tall, wiry, 3–5 -noded. Mid-culm internodes
glabrous. Mid-culm nodes glabrous. Lateral branches simple. Ligule a fringe of
hairs, 0.3–0.5 mm long. Leaf-blades conduplicate or involute, 10–25 cm long,
2–3 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth, glabrous or indumented.

Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle lanceolate, 5.5–13 cm long, 1.5–3 cm

Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2
fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, ovate, laterally compressed,
6–10 mm long.

Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate,
cartilaginous, much thinner on margins, without keels, 11–13 -nerved. Lower
glume surface glabrous. Lower glume apex mucronate. Upper glume lanceolate,
6–10 mm long, cartilaginous, without keels, 11–13 -nerved. Upper glume surface
smooth, glabrous. Upper glume apex mucronate.

Fertile lemma 5–8 mm long, without keel, 7 -nerved. Lemma surface indumented.
Lemma apex awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn 4–10 mm long overall. Palea
2 -nerved. Palea apex entire. Lodicules present. Anthers 3. Grain 1.4–2 mm

: Australasia.

: Western Australia, Northern Territory.

Western Australia:
Gardner, Fitzgerald. Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf, Victoria

Erichne festucacea is distinguished by its open floret with divergent
usually recurved lemma and palea, bisulcate awned lemmas, and aristulate
glabrous smooth glumes. Plants have a characteristic facies resulting from the
almost glabrous, smooth and glaucous culms and foliage, and glossy cataphylls.
Other identifying features include its caespitose tussocks with thickened base
and mass of coarse, fibrous roots, narrow panicles, subequal florets relative
to the glumes, beaked palea longer than the body of its lemma and scarcely
compressed caryopsis of even thickness.

Kimberley region of W.A. and in adjacent parts of N.T. A dominant plant in or
near seasonal or permanent watercourses and similar moist sites, often in sand,
alluvium or running water, and in association with rocks of basalt, sandstone,
quartzite and limestone. Flowers and fruits Mar.-Sept. (autumn to

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