Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Fuirena umbellata Rottb.

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Fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Flowers. © R.L. Barrett
Leaf. © R.L. Barrett
Habit and leaves. © R.L. Barrett
Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Rottboell, C.F. (1773) Descriptionum et Iconum Rariores et pro maxima parte novas plantas : 70, t.19, fig. 3. Type: not cited.


Perennial herb, wholly light green. Culms solitary, erect from horizontally creeping rhizome, 50-100 cm tall, 6-9 mm thick below, 4-5-angular, several-nodose, glabrous except below inflorescence, base bulbous.


Basal leaves reduced to subaphyllous sheaths; bladed leaves 5-7 to a culm, spaced on middle and upper part of the culm; blades lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 10-20 x 5-15 mm, with 5 veins, glabrous, briefly acute at apex, suddenly contracted at base, the sheaths 2-5 cm long, tightly surrounding the culm; ligule with a ciliate or glabrous membrane.


Inflorescence paniculiform, with 3-12 glomerulous clusters of spikelets; glomerules single or binate, 15-20 mm across, bearing 5-10 spikelets, the peduncles white-villose, single or binate, occasionally branched; bracts leaf-like, longer than partial inflorescence. Spikelets ovoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, 4-7 mm long, brownish-green or dark brownish-green at maturity, acute, wholly covered with wooly hairs. Glumes elliptic, 2 mm long, ciliate and sparsely pilose outside, the midvein ending in a short recurved awn ca. 1 mm long, keel strongly 3-nerved, reddish brown with green keel


Hypogynous bristles absent. Hypogynous squamellae 3, obovate or oblong, membranous, short-stipitate at base, slightly surpassing the achene. Achenes broadly obovate, 0.8 mm long, subobtusely triquetrous with obscurely wrinkled glabrous sides, the cuneate base with a thickish stipe.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in swampy areas, along creeks and rivers in Eucalypt forest, Melaleuca forest and in woodland. Also widely distributed in the subtropics and tropics of the world.

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