Eriachne stipacea

Eriachne stipacea F. Muell. J.
Linn. Soc., Bot.
52: 342 (1942).

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

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: HT: E. Daemel s.n., Australia: Queensland:
Cook District: Cape York (MEL-95280; IT: BR, K).

Key references
(books and floras):
[1878] G.Bentham, Flora Australiensis 7 (627),
[2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia.

Illustrations:
[2005] K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3 (Fig.
24A-B).

Habit. Annual
or perennial. Culms erect, 37.5–100 cm tall. Mid-culm internodes hirsute.
Mid-culm nodes bearded. Lateral branches simple or sparsely branched. Ligule a
fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades 10–23 cm long, 2–7.5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface
scabrous, glabrous or indumented.

Inflorescence.
Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle oblong or ovate, dense or loose,
4–13 cm long, 2.4–7 cm wide.

Spikelets.
Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2
fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, ovate, laterally compressed, 7–9
mm long.

Glumes.
Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous,
without keels, 5–11 -nerved. Lower glume surface glabrous or indumented. Lower
glume apex muticous or awned. Upper glume lanceolate, 7–9 mm long, membranous,
without keels, 5–7 -nerved. Upper glume surface smooth, glabrous or indumented.
Upper glume apex muticous or awned.

Florets. Fertile
lemma 3.5–6 mm long, without keel, 5–7 -nerved. Lemma surface indumented. Lemma
apex awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn (28–)40–60 mm long overall. Palea
apex dentate, awned (2).

Continental
Distribution
: Australasia.

Australian
Distribution
: Northern Territory, Queensland.

Northern Territory:
Darwin & Gulf. Queensland: Burke, Cook, North Kennedy, Leichhardt.

Notes.
Distinguishing features include loose hairy panicle, long-acuminate awned often
inverse glumes, two-awned paleas, and relatively long callus. The florets are
small relative to the glumes and concealed by indumentum. The lemma is abruptly
contracted at the junction with its long recurved awn, which readily fractures
though not articulated. Sometimes, there is a short groove or depression on
each side of the awn at its base, but these differ from the grooves on the
upper part of the body of the lemma, which characterize a number of other
species in the genus. There are similarities with E. squarrosa and E.
rara
, but E. stipacea differs in panicle form, and dimensions and
indumentum of the spikelet. From the allied E. armitii, E. stipacea
differs by its often perennial duration, loose panicle and slightly longer
callus.

Endemic.
Qld N of 20ºS. and in N.T. on islands and coastal mainland. Usually on flat to
gently undulating country in sandy or sandy loam soils, often in association
with laterite and seasonally wet sites. Flowers and fruits Mar.-Aug. (autumn
and winter); also Jan. (mid-summer).

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