Stenotaphrum micranthum

Stenotaphrum micranthum (Desv.) C.E.Hubb. Grass. Maurit. 73 (1940).

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

Basionym and/or Replacement Name:  Ophiurinella micrantha Desv., Mem. Soc. Agric. Angers 1: 179, pl. 8, f. 4 (1831).

Type of Basionym or Protologue Information: Crescit in insula Borboniae.

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

Habit. Annual or perennial. Rhizomes absent. Stolons present. Culms decumbent, 9–30 cm tall. Ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.2–0.7 mm long. Leaf-blades linear or lanceolate, flat, 3–12 cm long, 4–15 mm wide.

Inflorescence. Inflorescence solid, a raceme. Racemes sunken, 0.4–1.2 cm long, bearing 2–6 fertile spikelets on each. Central inflorescence axis 5–20 cm long.

Spikelets. Spikelets sessile. 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, ovate, dorsally compressed, 2.1–3.5 mm long.

Glumes. Glumes similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate, membranous, without keels. Upper glume ovate, 0.3–0.6 mm long, membranous, without keels, 0 -nerved. Florets. Basal sterile florets 1, barren, without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret 100 % of length of spikelet, coriaceous, 2-keeled, 3–5 -nerved.

Fertile lemma 2–3 mm long, without keel, 5 -nerved.

Continental Distribution: Africa, Temperate Asia, Tropical Asia, Australasia, and Pacific.

Australian Distribution: Queensland, Cocos Keeling Is, Ashmore Reef, Coral Sea Is.

Queensland: Cook, Port Curtis.

Notes. The biseriate inflorescence and leaf shape easily distinguishes it from the other Australian species.

Native. Collected on the islands off the Qld coast, but not on mainland Australia. Common on islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In tropical and subtropical rain forests and tropical and subtropical sub-humid woodlands. Stenotaphrum micranthum is reported to be a good pasture and lawn grass. Flowers June-Nov.


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