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Common name: Water Couch
Paspalum distichum L. APNI*
Synonyms: Paspalum paspalodes (Michx.) Scribn. APNI*
Description: Creeping perennials to c. 50 cm tall, with rather slender to rather stout whitish or yellowish rhizomes, and extensive many-noded, branching, stolons often forming loose mats; nodes dark, usually glabrous.
Sheaths pilose on the margins towards the summit, otherwise glabrous; ligule short, 0.5–1.5 mm long, truncate or erose; blade as wide as the top of the sheath, 2–9 mm wide, flat when fresh, often folded and keeled when dry.
Inflorescence of usually 2 (rarely 3–4), erect then more or less spreading to reflexed racemes mostly 1.5–7 cm long. Spikelets usually solitary on the pedicels, occasionally binate near the middle of the raceme, imbricate, 2.5–3.5 mm long, widely elliptic, abruptly acute, pale greenish. Upper glume and lower lemma equal and equalling the spikelet, thinly membranous with the midnerve fairly prominent and margins incurved, the glume minutely and rather obscurely appressed-pubescent. Fertile lemma 2.5–3 mm long, elliptic.
Distribution and occurrence:
Grows in and near fresh water; widespread. Sometimes sold as a lawn grass, and can be useful if well-watered; sometimes marketed under the misleading and invalid name Drynaria.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP, LHI
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A. N.T.
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
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.