Micraira viscidula

Micraira viscidula M. Lazarides. Nuytsia 5: 295 (1984).

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

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Australia: Northern Territory: Darwin & Gulf District: c. 8 km SW of Oenpelli, 12.23S 133.01E, 11 Jul 1978, Dunlop 4975 (IT: CANB; IT: AD, BRI, 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, 3–5 cm tall, 0.5 mm diam. Leaves cauline. Leaf-sheaths hairy. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades 1 cm long, 0.5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface indumented.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle. Panicle ovate, 1.5 cm long, 1.5 cm wide.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, both fertile, comprising 2 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, oblong, laterally compressed, 1.3–1.5 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, membranous, much thinner on margins, keeled, 1-keeled, 3 -nerved. Lower glume surface indumented. Upper glume lanceolate, 1.3–1.5 mm long, membranous, keeled, 1-keeled, 3 -nerved. Upper glume surface indumented.

Florets. Fertile lemma 0.5 mm long, keeled, 3 -nerved. Lemma apex dentate. 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 glandular, white or translucent tubercles on leaf margins, panicle divisions and glumes are a unique feature in the genus. Also, in many other species the leaf sheaths are glabrous (not pubescent). Other distinguishing characters include the three ribbed nerves on sheaths, blades, glumes and lemmas, the divided nerveless paleas, and the short florets relative to the glumes.

 Though all the specimens cited match the holotype in many respects, Dunlop 4906 has blunt glumes which are shorter relative to the florets.

Occurs on the Arnhem Land Plateau in the Oenpelli - Mt. Gilruth area; grows on ledges in sandstone gorges and escarpments, often in sheltered and partially shady sites. Flowers-fruits June, July.

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