Common name: Alpine Grass
Rytidosperma alpicola (Vickery) Connor & Edgar APNI*
Synonyms: Austrodanthonia alpicola (Vickery) H.P.Linder APNI*
Danthonia alpicola Vickery APNI*
Rytidosperma alpicolum (Vickery) Connor & Edgar APNI*
Description: Erect, caespitose, glabrous perennials to 40 cm tall.
Culms smooth, rather rigid, 3–4-noded. Sheaths firm, smooth, striate above, the basal sheaths loose; ligule minutely ciliolate or very reduced, sometimes with long hairs at sides; blade thick, rigid, closely folded or inrolled, rarely almost flat, glabrous, rather pungent pointed.
Inflorescence not or shortly exserted, contracted, dense, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, c. 3–4 cm long. Spikelets 4–6-flowered, purplish, becoming straw-coloured, the group of florets c. 65% as long as the glumes except for the exserted awns. Glumes c. 5-nerved, 12–17 mm long. Lemmas c. 3.5 mm long, linear-lanceolate, pilose; lateral lobes narrowing into the 3–5 mm setae; central awn twisted at the base for 2–3 mm, much exceeding the lateral lobes; palea linear-lanceolate, glabrous on the back.
Flowering: Flowers summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows at high altitudes, among boulders and on rocky ledges, often above the treeline.
NSW subdivisions: ST
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas.
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B. 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
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