Description: Annuals or perennials with erect, ascending or decumbent culms.
Ligule a rim of short hairs; blade rolled in bud, often with stiff tubercle-based hairs.
Inflorescence narrow, racemose with shortly stalked deciduous clusters of 2–6 spikelets on a slender, spike-like panicle, each cluster burr-like and somewhat simulating the appearance of a single spikelet. Spikelets 1-flowered, bisexual, sessile, densely spiny on the back. Glumes very dissimilar, the lower minute or absent, the upper 5–7-nerved, the nerves with hooked spines. Lemma 3-nerved, acute or mucronate; palea almost as long as lemma.Stamens 3.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 6 species, tropical to warm-temperate latitudes, especially in Africa. Australia: 2 species (native), all mainland States.
Tragus heptaneuron Clayton has been recorded once from the old Flemington saleyards. The specimen has 7-nerved glumes (characteristic of T. heptaneuron) but is otherwise doubtfully distinct from T. australianus. From the Greek word for 'he-goat' or 'billy goat', referring to the stiff hairs on the leaves and spikelets.
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).
|One species in NSW: Tragus australianus|