Common name: Pale Pigeon Grass
Setaria pumila (Poir.) Roem. & Schult. APNI*
Description: Loosely or densely tufted annuals to 1.3 m high.
Culms mostly slender, smooth or slightly rough below the inflorescence, more or less erect, weak, usually 2–4-noded. Sheaths glabrous, smooth, compressed, the upper terete, margins hyaline; ligule truncate, ciliate, 1–1.5 mm long; blade linear or linear-lanceolate, long-tapering, acuminate, to 30 cm long, 4–10 mm wide, glabrous or with some hairs towards the base, slightly scabrous.
Inflorescence long-exserted, spike-like, erect, dense, continuous, oblong or evenly linear-cylindrical, 1–15 cm long, branches close, bristles straight or subflexuose, very unequal. Spikelets broadly oblong to elliptic or ovate, 3–3.4 mm long, each subtended by 0,1 or more aborted spikelets and 4–12 bristles 3–10 mm long. Lower glume 30–40% spikelet length, 3–5-nerved, acute; upper 45–65% spikelet length, 5–9-nerved, broadly ovate, obtuse to subacute. Lower lemma usually sterile, as long as spikelet, membranous, 5-nerved; palea subequal to lemma, broadly elliptical, acute. Upper lemma bisexual, as long as spikelet, strongly transversely rugose, sometimes apiculate; palea similar.
Flowering: Flowers in summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Native to warmer parts of N Temperate zone of the Old World.
Widespread weed of cultivated and disturbed ground.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *SWP, *SFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *W.A. *S.A.
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.