Common name: Many-headed Wiregrass
Aristida caput-medusae Domin APNI*
Description: Tufted erect perennial to c. 1 m high, with knotty rootstock; culms wiry, strongly branched, terete or sometimes compressed, minutely striate.
Leaves with sheath abruptly narrowed at junction with blade, glabrous, smooth, or scaberulous; ligule < 0.5 mm long; blade convolute to conduplicate, flat only at the base, firmly pointed, 1–2 mm wide, long-scabrous on upper surface.
Panicle spike-like, dense to rather loose, 3–7 cm long, borne well above the leaves, branches short and arising singly. Lower glume acute to obtuse, 2.5–6 mm long; upper acute to obtuse, sometimes notched, acuminate, 4–8.5 mm long. Lemma 6–10 mm long, mostly exposed, purple or pallid and sometimes mottled; awns divergent to divaricate, to 15 mm long.
Flowering: in response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows on shallow and gravelly loamy red earth soils or rocky hillsides.
NSW subdivisions: NWS, NWP
Other Australian states: Qld
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
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.