Common name: Sandhill Canegrass
Zygochloa paradoxa (R.Br.) S.T.Blake APNI*
Description: Robust, dioecious, rhizomatous perennials forming tussocks or hummocks 1.5 m tall, 1 m wide. Culms hard, brittle, up to 8 mm or more in diam., somewhat punctilate, otherwise smooth.
Ligule a row of hairs to 1 mm long; blade sparse, stiff, flat, with prominent nerves, disarticulating early at the narrow blade-sheath junction and tapered to a thickened tip.
Inflorescence of 2 types: male heads globular, 1–2 cm diam.; female heads also globular, 2.5–3.5 cm diam., the prominent chaffy bracteoles with rigid tips. Spikelets dimorphous, unisexual, slightly dorsally compressed. Male spikelets shortly pedicellate, 6–8 mm long, few in a spike-like panicle, with 2 male florets; glumes subequal, rigid, 5–7-nerved; lemmas stiff with translucent margins, 5-nerved; palea rigid, keeled, the keels winged below. Female spikelets 6–10 mm long, solitary, shortly pedicellate, subtended by 3 membranous multinerved bracteoles with curved awn-like tips, florets 2, the lower sterile, the upper bisexual; glumes subequal to the spikelet, stiff, 7–9-nerved; lemmas 2, the lower rigid, hardened, 5-nerved, the upper stiff, involute with firm margins, 5-nerved; paleas 2, the lower strongly keeled, the upper hardened, 2-nerved.
Flowering: Flowers in response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence: Sandhills of the Simpson Desert, and on lunettes of many inland lakes; extremely drought resistant and an excellent sand binder.
NSW subdivisions: NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. 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.