Common name: Smallflower Wallaby Grass
Rytidosperma setaceum (R.Br.) Connor & Edgar APNI*
Synonyms: Austrodanthonia setacea (R.Br.) H.P.Linder APNI*
Danthonia setacea R.Br. APNI*
Danthonia penicillata var. setacea (R.Br.) Rodway APNI*
Description: Erect, densely caespitose perennials to c. 70 cm tall.
Culms 2–4-noded, sometimes geniculate at the lowest node, smooth, or somewhat pubescent just under the panicle. Sheaths usually tightly clasping the culms, or the lower sometimes becoming loose, glabrous or hirsute, finely striate, sometimes very minutely scaberulous; ligule reduced to a more or less dense ring of short hairs c. 0.5 mm long, usually with a few long cilia at the sides; blade mostly inrolled-filiform, rarely the upper somewhat flat, 5–20 cm long, often hirsute, distinctly ribbed and slightly scabrous on the upper surface.
Inflorescence at length exserted, linear, elliptic-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 2.2–10.1 cm long, usually more or less contracted and rather dense. Spikelets 4–10-flowered, pale-coloured or purplish, the florets rather closely packed, 50–65% as long as glumes except for exserted awns. Glumes with narrow membranous margins, obscurely 3–5-nerved, 8–14 mm long. Lemmas 2–3.5 mm long, pale, linear-lanceolate or lanceolate-elliptical; lateral lobes narrow, thin, tapering into capillary setae; central awn exceeding the lateral lobes by 3–6 mm, twisted and light brown in the lower part. Palea narrowly oblong or oblanceolate, almost glabrous.
Flowering: In response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence:
Widespread and abundant species, commonly associated with A. caespitosa and A. eriantha; a significant element in natural pastures and is hence of considerable economic importance as a pasture grass.
NSW subdivisions: CC, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, SWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Vic. S.A. 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
***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.