Common name: Woollybutt Wanderrie Grass
Eriachne helmsii (Domin) Hartley APNI*
Description: Erect or spreading, loosely tufted perennial to 0.8 m high, base bulbous and woolly.
Leaves with sheath enclosing culm, becoming loose with age, much shorter than internode, glabrous; ligule a row of cilia to 1 mm long; blade flat, narrowly rolled when dry, to 3 mm wide, glabrous, upper surface sometimes covered with fine hairs < 0.5 mm long.
Inflorescence a compact panicle 5–10 cm long, 1–2 cm wide, exserted or enclosed in uppermost sheath; rachis glabrous. Spikelet of 2 florets, pale or straw-coloured, widely gaping at maturity. Glumes acute, equal, shorter then floret, 5–7 mm long, glabrous. Lemmas awnless, acuminate, 6–8 mm long, silky on margins and lower half, hairs as long as floret, upper half glabrous. Palea awnless, pubescent on lower half, glabrous near apex.
Flowering: in response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows on sandy soils, common on slopes and flats of sandplains.
NSW subdivisions: NWS, NWP, NFWP
Other Australian states: Qld W.A. S.A. N.T.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & K. L. McClay
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
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