Common name: Feather Speargrass
Austrostipa elegantissima (Labill.) S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Everett APNI*
Synonyms: Stipa elegantissima Labill. APNI*
Description: Caespitose perennial to c. 1 m high, shortly rhizomatous, without a basal tuft of leaves.
Leaves with ligule obtuse, erose, membranous, glabrous, 2–3 mm long; auricles not thickened, glabrous; blade tightly rolled, 1.5–2 mm wide, slightly to moderately ribbed, glabrous or scabrous.
Panicle exserted, pyramidal, 15–25 cm long, with whorls of long, few-flowered, compound branches spreading widely. Spikelets gaping at maturity, 7–12 mm long (excluding awn). Glumes usually subequal, acute. Lemma 4.5–10 mm long, tuberculate, mainly glabrous, black at maturity; lobes minute-0.8 mm long; coma absent. Callus almost straight, silky. Awn strongly once bent, often with another weak bend, 2–5 cm long. Palea c. 50% the length of the lemma.
Flowering: in response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence: Palatable to stock and now found growing chiefly in situations free from grazing.
NSW subdivisions: CC, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Vic. W.A. S.A.
Text by SWL Jacobs and J Everett 1993 (as Stipa)
Taxon concept: Flora NSW vol 4 (1993)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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