Miscanthus sinensis*

Miscanthus sinensis* Anderss. Öfvers. Förh. Kongl. Svenska Vetensk.-Akad. 12: 166 (1855).

Classification. (GPWG 2001) : Subfamily Panicoideae. Andropogoneae.

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: China: ??: Cap Syng-Moon, 1837, F.J.F. Meyen s.n. (HT: B).

Key references (books and floras): [2002] D.Sharp & B.K.Simon, AusGrass, Grasses of Australia, [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia (530), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Walley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales (301).

Illustrations: [1984] N.T.Burbidge. rev. S.W.L.Jacobs, Australian Grasses  (185), [2006] J.Jessop, G.R.M.Dashorst, F.M.James, Grasses of South Australia  (529, fig. 451 as var. zebrinus), [2008] S.W.L.Jacobs, R.D.B.Whalley & D.J.B.Wheeler, Grasses of New South Wales, 4th edn (301).

Habit. Perennial. Rhizomes present, short. Culms erect, 60–300 cm tall, 3–7 mm diam. Mid-culm nodes glabrous. Lateral branches simple. Leaves basal and cauline. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Ligule a fringed membrane, a ciliolate membrane, 1–3 mm long. Leaf-blades 20–70 cm long, 2.5 mm wide.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence compound, a panicle of rames. Central inflorescence axis 6–15 cm long. Rhachis tough.

Spikelets. Spikelets pedicelled, 2 in the cluster. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, the lower floret barren (rarely male), the upper fertile, comprising 1 basal sterile florets, comprising 1 fertile floret(s), without rachilla extension, lanceolate, dorsally compressed, 4.5–7 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes dissimilar, firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume linear or lanceolate, chartaceous, without keels or keeled, 2-keeled, 2–3 -nerved. Lower glume surface glabrous. Upper glume lanceolate, chartaceous, without keels, 1–3 -nerved. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret 80 % of length of spikelet, hyaline, 1 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 1.5–4.5 mm long, without keel, 1 -nerved. Lemma apex lobed, awned, 1 -awned. Median (principal) awn from a sinus, 5–12 mm long overall, with a twisted column. Anthers 3.

Continental Distribution: Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, North America, and South America.

Australian Distribution: Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland (+), New South Wales.

Western Australia: Drummond. South Australia: Murray. New South Wales: Central Coast.

Notes. M. sinensis var. zebrinus Beal is a cultivated variant with the lamina banded or zoned with white.

Introduced to Australia where it is naturalised in south-western W.A. and the Blue Mountains, N.S.W. A native of eastern Asia. Flowers Apr. and Dec.


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