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Microlaena stipoides (Labill.) R.Br.
Family Poaceae
Common name: weeping grass

Microlaena stipoides (Labill.) R.Br. APNI*

Description: Slender, tufted perennials to 0.7 m high, with contracted rhizomes.

Leaves with sheath with small, hairy auricles or silky hairs at the orifice; ligule a short membranous rim fringed with hairs; blade rolled in bud, smooth or slightly hairy.

Inflorescence a narrow, delicate drooping panicle or a raceme, 7–17 cm long; the branches and pedicels to 1 side. Spikelets pedicellate, solitary, laterally compressed, 8–10 mm long, rachilla disarticulating above the glumes; florets 3, raised above the glumes on a hairy or glabrous stalk. Glumes minute, 1 mm long, 1-nerved. Sterile lemmas rigid and rough along the keel, 3–7-nerved, the upper longer and broader than the lower, both tapering into a long, slender, scabrid awn. Fertile lemma shorter, awnless but acutely pointed, 5–7-nerved, keeled with short spines on the upper half. Palea shorter than the lemma, 1-nerved.


Photo © ANBG

Flowering: most of year.

Distribution and occurrence:
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, LHI
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. N.T. S.A. W.A.
AVH map***

Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept:

 Key to the varieties 
1Awns on the sterile lemmas as long as to more than twice as long as the lemmas; spikelets greenvar. stipoides
Awns on the sterile lemmas much shorter than the lemmas (awn on upper sterile lemma sometimes equal to the lemma); spikelets usually purplishvar. breviseta

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.
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