Common name: Slender Wallaby Grass
Rytidosperma penicillatum (Labill.) Connor & Edgar APNI*
Synonyms: Austrodanthonia penicillata (Labill.) H.P.Linder APNI*
Danthonia penicillata (Labill.) P.Beauv. APNI*
Description: Erect to somewhat straggling, loosely caespitose perennials to 0.75 m high, often geniculate at the nodes.
Culms very slender, 3 or 4-noded, finely striate. Sheaths subglabrous to sparsely hirsute, finely striate, sometimes loose above, often minutely scabrous on the sides of the veins; ligule usually reduced to a minute jagged rim; blade narrow, flat and up to 2 mm long, or more frequently finely inrolled and filiform, to 15 cm long, rather thin, more or less hirsute.
Inflorescence subracemose, linear, not crowded, 5–10 cm long, not rigid, much exserted. Spikelets 4–7-flowered, often purplish, the group of florets usually shorter than the glumes, rarely exceeding them, except for the exserted awns. Glumes with narrow membranous margin, lower mostly 9-nerved, upper 5-nerved, 10–12 mm long. Lemmas c. 4 mm long, narrow-fusiform, smooth, shining, lightly striate, 9-veined, hairs on back sparse, marginal below sinus, a few above and on callus; lobes tapering into fine awns about as long as the body of the lemma; central awn twisted and brown below the joint, exceeding the lateral lobes by 4 mm; palea linear-lanceolate, very minutely ciliolate along the keels.
Flowering: Flowers spring to summer.
Distribution and occurrence:
Grows in grassland and open woodland, often on slopes.
NSW subdivisions: CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, CWS
Other Australian states: Vic. Tas.
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
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