Common name: Aleman Grass
Echinochloa polystachya (Kunth) Hitchc. APNI*
Description: Decumbent aquatic perennial to c. 3 m tall; culms intravaginal, 7–15 mm diam., spongy, rooting from lower nodes. Mid-culm nodes swollen, glabrous or pubescent.
Leaf sheaths glabrous or hispid, with tubercle-based hairs; ligule a fringe of hairs, 2–4 mm long; blade to 50 cm long, 2–3.5 cm wide, glabrous; mid-rib conspicuous; margins spinulose.
Inflorescence a panicle 15–30 cm long of numerous unilateral racemes each 2–11 cm long; rachis subterete, ciliate on margins. Spiklets imbricate, 4-rowed, in 3's, subequal; pedicels 0.5–1 mm long, scabrous, tip discoid. Fertile spiklets 2-flowered, 1 fertile floret, ovate, dorsally compressed, gibbous, cuspidate, 4.5–6 mm long, falling entire. Glumes dissimilar, thinner than fertile lemma; lower ovate, clasping, 1.9–4.2 mm long, 40–75% spiklet length, 5–7-nerved, scabrous, margins ciliate, apex cuspidate, muticous or awned; awn 2–15 mm long; with palea 100% length of lemma, scabrous, adorned on keels. Upper fertile lemma elliptic, gibbous, 2.5–5 mm long, indurate, much thinner above, glossy; margins involute; apex obtuse, laterally pinched. Palea reflexed at apex, indurate.
Distribution and occurrence: Native to southern USA through to Argentina and Uruguay.
NSW subdivisions: *NC
Other Australian states: *Qld *N.T.
A local cultivar ('Amity') is becoming naturalised.
Text by (2008) Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. and Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales. 4th ed.
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.