Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Lophatherum gracile Brongn.

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Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Brongniart, A.T. (1831) Voyage Autour du Monde. Botanique 2: 50. Type: Amboine, dans les Moluques.


Culms tufted from a knotty rootstock with fusiform roots, base of culms bulbous, slender, stiffly erect, 60-150 cm tall.


Leaf sheaths glabrous or pilose, margins with dense tubercle-based hairs; leaf blades 5-30 × 2-5 cm, glabrous or with long hairs on both surfaces, transverse veins between main veins prominent, base rounded to a 8-12 mm pseudopetiole; ligule brown, a ciliated membrane, hispid on backside.


Inflorescence 10-25 cm long with near horizontal branches that are triquetrous and scabrous on the margins; racemes few, 5-10 cm long, loosely spiculate, erect at first with appressed spikelets but later obliquely spreading and the spikelets patent; pedicels short, thick, scabrous with long hairs at base of glumes. Spikelets many-flowered, narrowly lanceolate, subterete, 7-12 mm, base glabrous or hairy; glumes ovate and rounded on back, subleathery with membranous margins, keeled with 2 veins on each side of the keel; lower glume 3-4.5 mm long, 5-veined, glabrous or stiffly hairy near margins and the apex; upper glume ca. 5 mm long and 5-7-veined, glabrous; lemma of fertile floret oblong with straight back, not keeled, 6-7 mm long, 7-13 -nerved, with awn; palea lanceolate, hyaline; awn of the fertile and sterile lemmas 1.5-2 mm long.


Caryopsis yellowish to reddish brown, smooth, with longitudinal and long cells on testa.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ as far south as the Tully Gorge. Altitudinal range from 40-400 m. Grows in openings in the rainforest, also in vineforest. Also from India, Malesia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

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