Micraira spiciforma

Micraira spiciforma M. Lazarides. Nuytsia 5: 294 (1984).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Australia: Western Australia: Northern Province: Mitchell Plateau, 14.50'Lat, 125.42'Long, 24 Feb 1980, Dunlop 5298 (HT: CANB; IT: BRI, CANB, DNA, K, MEL, NSW, NT, PERTH).

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

Habit. Perennial. Culms prostrate, 2–5 cm tall, 0.5 mm diam. Leaves cauline. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Ligule absent. Leaf-blades 0.4–0.5 cm long, 0.4–0.5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle oblong, 0.3–0.4 cm long, 0.1 cm wide.

Spikelets. Spikelets sessile. 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, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved. Lower glume surface glabrous. Upper glume oblong, 1 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1–3 -nerved. Upper glume surface glabrous.

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

Continental Distribution: Australasia.

Australian Distribution: Western Australia, Northern Territory.

Western Australia: Gardner. Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf.

Notes. Micraira spiciforma is clearly distinct from other species with a spike, viz. M. inserta, M. compacta and M. subspicata. It is distinguished by the following combination of characters - spineless glumes, glabrous glandular peduncle, pilose to hirsute leaves, thickened glabrous ligule, attenuate sheath and blade, 1–3-nerved glumes and lemmas, short florets relative to glumes and nerveless palea with smooth keels.

Only known from the Mitchell Plateau, W.A. and Bucket Spring, N.T.; grows on sandstone plateau on damp ledge under overhang. Flowers-fruits February and August.

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