Micraira pungens

Micraira pungens M. Lazarides. Brunonia 2: 77 (1979).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Australia: Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf Distr.: 43 km E of Oenpeli Mission, 12.20S 133.26E, alt. 240 m, 17 Feb 1973, Adams 3010 (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. 21L-M).

Habit. Perennial. Culms prostrate, 7–12 cm tall, 1 mm diam. Leaves cauline. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Ligule a fringed membrane or a fringe of hairs, a ciliate membrane, 0.2–0.5 mm long. Leaf-blades 1.5–8 cm long, 0.3–2 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scaberulous, glabrous.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle oblong, 1.5–2.5 cm long, 0.7–1.5 cm wide.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, oblong, laterally compressed, 1 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong or ovate, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Lower glume apex muticous or mucronate. Upper glume oblong or ovate, 1 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Upper glume apex entire or erose, muticous or mucronate.

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

Continental Distribution: Australasia.

Australian Distribution: Northern Territory.

Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf.

Notes. The pungent spine terminating the blade is a distinctive feature shared only with M. dentata. However, in M. dentata the spine is distinctly longer, the glumes differ markedly in shape and nervation, and the divisions of the panicle are eglandular.

Though agreeing with the holotype in many diagnostic characters, Adams 3031 (paratype) differs in having long prop roots (virtually absent in the holotype), 3-nerved (not 1-nerved) lemmas, and longer florets relative to the glumes.

Occurs on the Arnhem Land Plateau in Kakadu National Park, N.T.; grows in depressions, seepage, damp drainage flats, rock ledges, crevices and gorges in shallow, sandy-loam soils with extensive sandstone pavement. Flowers-fruits February, April.

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