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Genus Themeda Family Poaceae

Description: Tufted perennials or annuals.

Ligule membranous, ± ciliate; blade folded or flat. Inflorescence a loose, leafy panicle of groups of condensed racemes each subtended by a spathe, 1 or more such racemes subtended by larger spathes which may end in short blades.

Inflorescence a loose, leafy panicle of groups of condensed racemes each subtended by a spathe, 1 or more such racemes subtended by larger spathes which may end in short blades. Spikelets dissimilar, with 4 subterminal, sessile, male or barren spikelets forming an involucre to 1 (rarely more) sessile, bisexual spikelet and 1–2 pedicellate male or neuter spikelets, the whole enclosed by a spathe; the rachis disarticulating below the terminal triplet and tardily between the subtending spikelets. Sessile spikelet with a densely bearded acute or sharp callus; 1 fertile floret above a sterile floret. Glumes equal, leathery; lower tightly involute, obscurely-nerved; upper glume 3-nerved with a deep longitudinal groove on each side. Lemmas unequal, the lower small, nerveless, the upper consisting of a short base and stiff, geniculate awn, rarely with the awn reduced. Paleas small or absent. Pedicellate spikelets similar to the involucral spikelets but narrower, dorsally compressed, awnless; glumes subequal, the lower 2-keeled, green; upper glume hyaline, rarely absent; a lemma may be present but palea usually absent.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 18 spp., Old World. Aust.: 5 spp. (3 spp. native, 2 spp. naturalized), all States.

Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Themeda triandra

 Key to the species 
1Glumes of the involucral spikelets (sterile or male spikelets) with long, tubercle-based hairs towards the tip, otherwise glabrous; annual with leaves folded in budThemeda quadrivalvis
Glumes of the involucral spikelets without tubercle-based hairs but sometimes with other types of hair; perennials with leaves folded or rolled in bud2
2Involucral spikelets glabrous, 20–30 mm long, in 2 separate pairs 1 slightly above the other; leaves rolled in budThemeda avenacea
Involucral spikelets hairy or glabrous, 6–12 mm long, in a ring arising at the same level; leaves folded in bud
                       Back to 1
Themeda australis

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