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Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth
Family Poaceae
Common name: Sand Couch, Saltwater Couch, Nioaka

Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth APNI*

Description: Creeping rhizomatous or stoloniferous perennials to c. 70 cm tall. Culms erect or ascending, branched, smooth, glabrous; nodes numerous, glabrous.

Sheaths overlapping, ribbed, glabrous, upper margin sometimes scattered with rigid tubercle-based hairs c. 0.5 mm long; ligule a ciliate rim with hairs <0.25 mm long, each end often with rigid hairs to 2 mm long; blade 2–13 cm long, to 3 mm wide, ribbed, glabrous.

Inflorescence spicate, 3–13 cm long, 0.5–1 cm wide; rachis flattened or angled, ribbed, glabrous; pedicels 1–4 mm long, scabrous. Spikelets 2–4 mm long, floret 1. Glumes hyaline, smooth, glabrous; lower glume linear to lanceolate, 2–3 mm long, acute, 1–2-nerved; upper glume lanceolate, 2.5–3.5 mm long, subulate, 1-nerved. Lemma lanceolate 2.5–3 mm long, acute, smooth, glabrous; palea subequal to lemma, 2-lobed, 2-nerved, sometimes split between nerves, smooth, glabrous.


Distribution and occurrence:
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, LHI
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. N.T. S.A. W.A.
AVH map***

There is a narrow-leaf and a broad-leaf form of S. virginicus with many intermediates (Smith-White 1988).

Text by Jacobs, S.W.L., Whalley, R.D.B. & Wheeler, D.J.B.
Taxon concept: Grasses of New South Wales, Fourth Edition (2008).

 Key to the varieties 
1Leaves >1 mm wide.var. virginicus
Leaves 1 mm wide or lessvar. minor

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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