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Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf
Family Poaceae
Common name: Coolatai Grass

Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf APNI*

Description: Densely tufted perennial to c. 1.2 m tall.

Lower sheaths usually glabrous; ligule scarious, truncate to acute, ciliate-denticulate (minutely toothed), 2–3 mm long; blade 2–3 mm wide, somewhat glaucous, glabrous or with a few scattered long hairs.

Spatheate panicle elongated, loose, rather sparse, 15–40 cm long. Branches 1–few-nate, filiform, unequal, 3–30 cm long, often geniculate. Spatheoles very narrowly linear-lanceolate, long attenuate to a fine point, 4–6 cm long, glabrous or with a few long scattered hairs, turning reddish. Peduncle filiform, c. 5–6 cm long, slightly to strongly arched, pubescent towards the apex and with long white spreading hairs. Racemes slightly diverging, straight or curved, erect or nooding, 1.5–5 cm long, whitish or greyish-villous, each with c. 5–8 awned spikelets, a pair of alike, male spikelets at the base of the lower or both racemes; pedicels short, villous. Fertile spikelets linear-oblong, 4–6 mm long, the callus linear-cuneate, grooved, subacute. Lower glume 9–11-nerved loosely villous; upper glume thinner, 3-nerved, mucronate, ciliate. Lower lemma linear-oblong, obtuse, ciliate, almost as long as the glume; upper lemma narrowly linear to almost stipiform 2.5–4.5 mm long with two short, membranous, lobes, the geniculate awn slender, 15–35 mm long with the column pubescent; palea absent or minute. Pedicellate spikelets male, narrowly linear-oblong, acute, 4–7 mm long, more or less loosely villous, greenish to reddish. Glumes equal; lower subherbaceous, truncate to acute to mucronulate, 9–11-nerved; upper glume thinner, 3-nerved. Lemmas linear-oblong, hyaline, ciliate, the lower 2-nerved, the upper 1-nerved or reduced.

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo J. R. Hosking



Flowering: Summer.

Distribution and occurrence:

Dry woodland and grassland; spreading along roadsides.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *NT, *CT, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *NC
Other Australian states: *Qld *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
AVH map***

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.
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