Micraira spinifera

Micraira spinifera M. Lazarides. Brunonia 2: 78 (1979).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: HT: Lazarides 7989 [7898], 27 Feb 1973, Australia: Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf Distr.: 12.55S 132.59 E (CANB; IT: L, MO-2804489).

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. 21D-F).

Habit. Perennial. Culms prostrate, 2–5 cm tall, 0.4 mm diam. Leaves cauline. Leaf-sheaths smooth, glabrous on surface. Ligule an eciliate membrane or a fringed membrane, a ciliolate membrane, 0.2 mm long. Leaf-blades involute or convolute, 7–10 cm long, 0.3–1 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface scabrous, glabrous or indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle oblong, 0.6–1 cm long, 0.3–0.8 cm wide.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, oblong, laterally compressed, 1.25–1.5 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong or ovate, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Lower glume apex awned. Upper glume oblong or ovate, 1.25–1.5 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 1 -nerved. Upper glume surface scabrous. Upper glume apex entire or erose, awned.

Florets. Fertile lemma 0.6–0.7 mm long, keeled, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex lobed, 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 apical spine on the glumes is a diagnostic feature shared only with M. compacta. However, in M. compacta, the spine is flattened (not terete) and the inflorescence is spiciform (not paniculate).

 Dunlop’s plants differ from those of the holotype collection by their strongly glandular almost smooth (not eglandular, scaberulous) divisions of the panicle, shorter spines on the glumes, less hairy blades and more contracted panicle.

Occurs near the East Alligator River in the vicinity of Oenpelli Mission; grows on the sandstone plateau of Arnhem Land in sandy soils in seepage and in partial shade under the overhang of large boulders. Flowers-fruits February, March and 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