Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Oplismenus compositus (L.) P.Beauv.

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves. © G. Sankowsky
Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Palisot de Beauvois, A.M.F.J. (1812) Essai d'une Nouvelle Agrostographie : 54, 169.

Common name

Running Mountain Grass; Grass, Running Mountain


Perennial. Culms stoloniferous, straggling, branching then ascending to 20-80 cm long, rooting at the nodes, sparsely hairy.


Leaf blades 4-10 x 1-2.5 cm, leaf-sheath 1.5-2 cm long. Leaf blade margins armed with small teeth which are visible with a lens or can be felt with finger tips running down from the apex. Short, white, erect bulbous-based hairs visible with a lens on the underside of the leaf blade. Lamina base oblique. Ligule densely clothed in white hairs 1-4 mm long. Leaf sheath longitudinally ribbed and clothed in short pale hairs.


Inflorescence axis 5-15 cm, glabrous to tuberculate-hairy; rachis triquetrous and very hairy; racemes 3-6, 2-6 cm, ascending to erect. Spikelets in 7-14 widely spaced, sometimes patent pairs, lanceolate, glabrous to thinly pilose; pedicels hairy and with a few very long hairs at the base; glumes covered in short silky hairs, awned, the awns stout, green or purple, viscid; lower glume awn 5-10 mm and viscid (sticky); upper glume keeled and 5-7 -nerved; awn to 0.5-2 mm or occasionally absent; lower lemma subcoriaceous, 7-9-veined, acute or with a stout 0.3-1 mm mucro; upper lemma subcoriaceous, ca. 2.5 mm, smooth.


Cayropsis terete in cross-section, with acute apex, one side flattened off, testa very smooth and glossy.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in the NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1020 m. Grows in the shade of rainforest, monsoon forest, Eucalypt forest, vineforest, vine thicket and occasionally in moist shady areas in Eucalypt woodland. Also from East Africa to India, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and elsewhere in tropical Asia extending eastward to Polynesia. Moist places in forests and along forest margins,

Panicum compositum L., Species Plantarum 1: 57(1753).
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