Common name: Three-awned spear grass
Aristida benthamii Henrard APNI*
Description: Slender, compactly tufted perennial to 1 m high; culms thin, terete or compressed, simple or branched, becoming smooth.
Leaves with sheath abruptly narrowed at the junction with blade, striate, scabrous; ligule c. 0.3 mm long; blade flat or conduplicate and bristly, striate, flexuous to curly, 1–3 mm wide, scabrous.
Panicle contracted and narrow, or loose and open, interrupted, to 30 cm long, branches distant. Glumes linear to ovate, subequal or unequal, 4.5–9 mm long, lower long-acuminate, upper obtuse or acute. Lemma 3.5–5.5 mm long, linear to elliptic, brown or purple and sometimes mottled; awns filiform, to 15 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Widespread on sandy soils.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, NT, NWS, CWS, NWP
Other Australian states: Qld
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the varieties|| |
|1||Ventral furrow of lemma free of tubercles||var. benthamii|
|Ventral furrow of lemma tuberculate||var. spinulifera|
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.