Common name: Comet Grass
Perotis rara R.Br. APNI*
Description: Slender tufted annual to 0.4 m high; culms geniculate or erect, branched at the base.
Leaves with ligule a minute hairy rim; blade 1.5–3 mm long, glabrous on margins, sometimes ciliate, with long hairs at the orifice.
Inflorescence a slender, feathery raceme, 10–20 cm long, axis angular. Spikelets shortly pedicellate, solitary, narrow, 25–40 mm long including the long awns, reflexed at maturity, disarticulating below the glumes and falling entire with the pedicel, callus narrow. Glumes unequal, 1-nerved, narrow-linear, 4–6 mm long, lower glume with ciliate margins and scabrous keel, tapering into a fine scabrid awn; upper glume shorter, otherwise similar. Lemma much shorter than the glumes, soft, 1-nerved, obtuse, shining. Palea minute.
Flowering: in response to rain.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows chiefly on red sandy soils.
NSW subdivisions: NC, NWS, ?CWS, NWP, NFWP
Other Australian states: Qld W.A. S.A. N.T.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & S. M. Hastings
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
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.