Melinis minutiflora*

Melinis minutiflora* Beauv. Ess. Agrost. 54 (1812).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Brazil: probably at Rio de Janeiro, de Jussieu s.n. (HT: G).

Key references (books and floras): [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (276), [1969] E.E.Henty, Manual Grasses New Guinea (124), [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 (299).

Illustrations: [1952] C.A.Gardner, Flora of Western Australia 1 Gramineae (275, Pl. 79), [1984] N.T.Burbidge. rev. S.W.L.Jacobs, Australian Grasses  (181), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (299).

Habit. Perennial. Stolons present. Culms geniculately ascending, 30–120 cm tall. Mid-culm nodes pubescent or bearded. Leaf-sheaths hairy. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.6–2 mm long. Leaf-blades 5–20 cm long, 3–11 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle oblong, dense, 6–30 cm long.

Spikelets. 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, oblong, laterally compressed, 1.5–2.4 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes dissimilar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong or ovate, hyaline, without keels, 0 -nerved. Upper glume oblong, 1.7–2.3 mm long, membranous, without keels, 7 -nerved. Upper glume apex lobed, muticous or mucronate. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret 100 % of length of spikelet, membranous, 5 -nerved, muticous (rarely) or awned.

Fertile lemma 1.2–2 mm long, without keel, 1–3 -nerved. Lemma apex dentate. Palea without keels. Lodicules present. Anthers 3.

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

Australian Distribution: Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Norfolk I.

Western Australia: Gardner. Drummond, Menzies, Warren. Queensland: Cook, Leichhardt, Moreton, North Kennedy, Port Curtis, Wide Bay. New South Wales: North Coast.

Notes. Diagnostic features include the awnless upper glume and prominent nerves on the upper glume and lower lemma.

Native to Africa but widely introduced in the tropics for native pasture improvement. In tropical and subtropical rain forests, tropical and subtropical wet sclerophyll forests, dry sclerophyll forests, and tropical and subtropical sub-humid woodlands. Rarely collected in Australia. Flowers June-Aug.

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