Common name: Tussock Paspalum
Paspalum quadrifarium Lam. APNI*
Description: Rather large, coarse, caespitose perennials to c. 1.8 m tall, without rhizomes or these very short and contracted.
Sheaths mostly glabrous except with long hairs near the ligule; ligule firmly scarious, thin and dry obtuse, 1–3 mm long, with a rather dense row of long hairs behind it; blade 5–8 mm wide.
Inflorescence 12–25 cm long, roughly linear-lanceolate in outline with usually 15–25(-40) rust-coloured racemes along an elongate common axis, the longer basal ones c. 6–9 cm long and erectly spreading, the upper progressively shorter and more appressed, bearing spikelets in 4 irregular ranks. Spikelets ovate-elliptical to ovate-lanceolate, c. 2.5 mm long, ferruginous or crimson, obtuse. Lower glume absent. Upper glume membranous, pubescent with short whitish hairs erect from minute brownish papillae, 3-nerved, convex, as long as the spikelet; lower lemma very similar to the upper glume but flat, and glabrous with a few similar hairs. Fertile lemma thinly crustaceous, pale, equalling the upper glume and lower lemma, widely elliptical, obtuse, convex, subsmooth, subshining, very faintly nerved; palea similar to the upper lemma in texture, flat.
Flowering: Mostly spring to autumn but inflorescences present most of the year.
Distribution and occurrence: Persistent in disturbed but unmown sites of low fertility. Native of S Amer.
Persitent in unmown areas; occasionally planted as an ornamental or grown in aviaries.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *CT, *SWS
Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993), 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
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