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Rytidosperma caespitosum (Gaudich.) Connor & Edgar
Family Poaceae
Common name: Ringed Wallaby Grass

Rytidosperma caespitosum (Gaudich.) Connor & Edgar APNI*

Synonyms: Austrodanthonia caespitosa (Gaudich.) H.P.Linder APNI*
Danthonia caespitosa Gaudich. APNI*
Danthonia varia Nees APNI*

Description: Very variable caespitose perennials, usually <1 metre tall.

Culms smooth, 2–4-noded, slender to rather robust. Sheaths rather densely hirsute to almost glabrous; ligule ciliate, the lateral hairs and those on the collar rather long; blade flat or loosely involute, ocassionally finely involute and somewhat flexose, usually to 25 cm long, narrow to 2 mm wide, hirsute to glabrous.

Inflorescence sometimes tardily and shortly exserted, or much exserted, loosely contracted, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate in outline, rarely ovate, usually with 10–30 or more spikelets. Spikelets 4–9-flowered, purplish, becoming straw-coloured, the glumes usually exceeding the divergent group of florets except for the exserted awns. Glumes greenish between the membranous margins, 5–7-nerved, 14–24 mm long. Lemmas usually 4–6 mm long, light in colour, narrow-lanceolate; back with distinct rows of hair tufts; lateral lobes narrowing into fine setae often nearly twice as long as the lemma body; central awn strong, much exceeding the lateral lobes, the lower brown closely twisted portion 2–7 mm long; palea narrow-lanceolate, pilose between the keels and margins.

Photo R. Jensen

Other photo
Photo R. Jensen

Flowering: Flowers in spring and summer and in response to rain.

Distribution and occurrence: Widespread in diverse habitats.
NSW subdivisions: CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. S.A. Tas. W.A.
AVH map***

One of the most valuable native pasture grasses.

Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B. 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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