Eriochloa australiensis

Eriochloa australiensis Stapf ex
Thellung. Vierteljahrsschr. Naturf. Ges. Zurich  64: 697 (1919).

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

Type of Basionym or
Protologue Information
: Australia: New South Wales.

Key references
(books and floras):
[1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1
Gramineae (232), [1981] M.Lazarides in J.Jessop (ed)., Flora of
Central Australia
(477), [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass,
Grasses of Australia
, [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses
of South Australia
(451), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley &
D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (263).

[2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (452, fig. 383), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs,
R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn

Habit. Annual
or perennial. Culms erect or geniculately ascending, 20–70 cm tall, 1–1.5 mm
diam., 2–3 -noded. Mid-culm nodes glabrous or pubescent. Ligule a fringe of
hairs, 0.7–1.3 mm long. Leaf-blades linear or lanceolate, 2–17 cm long, 3–7 mm
wide. Leaf-blade surface smooth, indumented.

Inflorescence compound, a panicle of racemes. Racemes 4–7, appressed, 2–3 cm
long. Central inflorescence axis 6–16 cm long.

Spikelets pedicelled. 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, 5–15 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes
thinner than fertile lemma. Upper glume lanceolate or elliptic, 5.6–14.7 mm
long, membranous, without keels, 5 -nerved. Upper glume surface indumented.
Upper glume apex mucronate or awned. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1,
barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret 90 % of length
of spikelet, 5 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 2.1–3 mm
long, without keel. Lemma apex mucronate. Median (principal) awn 1.5 mm long

: Australasia.

: Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia,
Queensland, New South Wales.

Western Australia:
Gardner, Dampier. Ashburton, Carnarvon, Austin. Coolgardie. Northern
: Central Australia South. South Australia: Lake Eyre,
Gairdner-Torrens Basin, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray,
Southern Lofty. Queensland: Burke, South Kennedy, Gregory South,
Mitchell. New South Wales: North-Western Plains, South-Western Plains,
North Far Western Plains.

The shape of the upper glume apex is variable and may be long acuminate with a
long awn or blunt with a short mucro. This variation has led to confusion in
the identification of E. australiensis, E. crebra and E.

In arid and semi-arid
low woodlands, shrub steppe shrublands, acacia shrublands, arid tussock
grasslands, and arid hummock grasslands. Occurs in the arid and semi-arid
regions of central Australia. Flowers mostly Feb.-July.

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