Description: Strongly tufted perennials or annuals with erect or ascending culms arising from scaly bases.
Leaves with ligule a ciliate rim; blade rolled in the bud.
Inflorescence a terminal spike or spike-like raceme, solitary or paired.
Spikelets sessile or subsessile, solitary, overlapping, on 1 side of the axis, rachilla disarticulating above the glumes but not between the lemmas; florets 2–9, bisexual, the uppermost often reduced. Glumes slightly unequal, keeled, acute, linear to elliptic. Lemmas longer than the glumes, leathery, deeply 3-lobed, rounded on the back, hairy at the base, central nerve extended into a firm, often curved, awn. Palea shorter than the lemma, 2-keeled; keels ciliate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 species, endemic Australia. Australia: all mainland States except Vic.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Spike or raceme 2–3 mm wide (including spikelets), the spikelets with 2–4 florets and rachilla internodes 2–4 mm long||Astrebla elymoides|
|Spike or raceme 5–30 mm wide (including spikelets), the spikelets with 3–9 florets and rachilla internodes 1 mm long or less||2|
|2||Lobes of the lemma all similar, the lemma villous on and around the lateral nerves only||Astrebla squarrosa|
|Lobes of the lemma dissimilar, the middle lobe alone tapering into a sharp point; body of the lemma villous all over the back|
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|3||Spikelets densely overlapping; the outer lobes of the lemma with scarious margins at least 50% the length of the lemma; lower glume 5–9-nerved||Astrebla pectinata|
|Spikelets loosely overlapping; the outer lobes of the lemma firmer in texture and with narrow scarious margins less than 50% the length of the lemma; lower glume 1–3-nerved.|
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