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Genus Echinopogon Family Poaceae
Common Name: Hedgehog grasses

Description: Tufted or rhizomatous perennials.

Leaves with ligule short, membranous; blade flat, usually short, scabrous.

Inflorescence a dense spike-like panicle, bristly, ovoid to oblong-cylindrical.

Spikelets 2.5–10 mm long, very shortly pedicellate, disarticulating above the glumes; 1 bisexual floret, rachilla shortly produced beyond the floret. Glumes equal, firm, acute to subulate, 1-nerved with stiff hairs or bristles along the keel and ciliate on the margins. Lemmas 5–11-nerved, the apex acute with 2 slender, erect lobes (occasionally lemma apex entire) and a straight awn arising between or behind them; awn scabrous; callus hairy. Palea 2-nerved, minutely 3-lobed, ciliolate at the apex and along the margins.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 7 species, Australia & New Zealand. Australia: 7 species (native) all States except N.T.

Key from Wheeler et al. (1990).

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Awns absent or not conspicuous, 3 mm or less in length2
Awns conspicuous, more than 3 mm long3
2Panicle bristly; spikelets 2–3.5 mm long, awn on lemma to 3 mm longEchinopogon mckiei
Panicle not bristly; spikelets 3.5–4 mm long; lemma with a mucro to 1.5 mm long
                       Back to 1
Echinopogon phleoides
3Spikelets to 5 mm long; lemma lobes less than 1.5 mm long or absent; glumes acute4
Spikelets 5–10 mm long; lemma with aristulate lobes to 2.5 mm long; glumes acute to subulate
                       Back to 1
5
4Plants rhizomatous with culms loosely clustered or solitary, usually geniculate at the base; leaves with blade linear-lanceolate or linear, 2–8 mm wide, panicle denseEchinopogon ovatus
Plants tufted; culms erect, usually not geniculate; leaves with blade linear, 1–5.5 mm wide; panicle dense or interrupted
                       Back to 3
Echinopogon caespitosus
5Panicle stiffly erect; peduncle retrorsely scabrousEchinopogon intermedius
Panicle often nodding or at an angle; peduncle smooth (or very slightly scabrous) below the panicle
                       Back to 3
6
6Spikelets usually more than 7 mm long; glumes often with loose, long hairs as well as rigid bristles on the keels; lemma usually shorter than the glumesEchinopogon cheelii
Spikelets 5–7(-8) mm long; glumes with bristles only on the keels; lemma about the same length as the glumes
                       Back to 5
Echinopogon nutans

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