Description: Tufted perennials.
Leaves with ligule membranous; blade flat, folded or tightly rolled, scabrous, rolled in bud.
Inflorescence an open or contracted panicle.
Spikelets solitary, disarticulating above the glumes and between the florets, rachilla hairy; florets several, bisexual or the uppermost reduced. Glumes 3–7-nerved. Lemma leathery, keeled throughout, 5–11-nerved, subacute to shortly awned, often finely 2-toothed, scaberulous; ovary glabrous; hilum of grain oval.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 species, Australia & New Zealand. Australia: 4 species (native), N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., ?W.A.
Key from Wheeler et al. (1990).
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Plants of coastal sand dunes; leaves narrow and often longer than the culms; panicle dense, to 12 cm long, with overlapping spikelets||Austrofestuca littoralis|
|Plants not normally growing on sand dunes; leaves various but usually shorter than culms; panicle open or contracted 20–30 cm long||2|
|2||Leaves with blade flat or folded, 2–4 mm wide, sometimes with auricles; awn, if present, sub-terminal, 1–3 mm long||Austrofestuca hookeriana|
|Leaves with blade tightly folded, to 1 mm wide, auricles absent; keel of lemma continued into a minute awn behind a 2-fid tip|
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