Micraira compacta

Micraira compacta M. Lazarides. Brunonia 2: 75 (1979).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Australia: Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf Distr.: Mt. Brockman Range, ca. 15 km S of Jabiru and ca. 28 km E of Nourlangie, 23 Feb 1973, Adams 3056 (HT: CANB).

Key references (books and floras): [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia.

Illustrations: [2005] K.Mallet (ed.), Flora of Australia 44B: Poaceae 3 (Fig. 22A-D).

Habit. Perennial. Culms prostrate, 2–3 cm tall, 0.5 mm diam. Leaves cauline. Leaf-sheaths smooth, glabrous on surface. Ligule a fringed membrane or a fringe of hairs, a ciliolate membrane, 0.2 mm long. Leaf-blades 4–8 cm long, 0.3–0.75 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous or scabrous, indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle oblong, 0.4–0.5 cm long, 0.15–0.2 cm wide.

Spikelets. Spikelets sessile. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, oblong, laterally compressed, 1.75–2 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Lower glume apex awned. Upper glume oblong, 1.75–2 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Upper glume apex lobed, awned.

Florets. Fertile lemma 0.5–1 mm long, keeled, 1(–3) -nerved. Palea 2 -nerved. Palea apex divided to base. Lodicules absent or vestigial. Anthers 2. Grain 0.3–0.5 mm long.

Continental Distribution: Australasia.

Australian Distribution: Northern Territory.

Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf.

Notes. The apical spine on the glumes is a diagnostic character shared only with M. spinifera. However, in M. spinifera the spine is terete (not flattened) and the inflorescence is paniculate (not spiciform).

Occurs in Kakadu National Park on Mt. Brockman Range and Arnhem Land Plateau, N.T.; grows among boulders and rock pavement on sandstone plateau, on margin of Melaleuca swamp at base of scarp, and in broad, sandy gully, often in shady, seepage sites sheltered by sandstone overhangs, ledges and rocks. Flowers-fruits February, March, April, 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