Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Panicum trichoides Sw.

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Inflorescence. © CSIRO
Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Swartz, O. [P.] (1788) Nova Genera & Species Plantarum seu Prodromus : 24. Type: Jamaica, Hispaniola.


Annual with the culms erect, geniculately ascending or decumbent, striated, slender, 15-100 cm tall and 3-11-noded. Lateral branches sparsely branched, rooting from the nodes.


Leaf blades 2-8 x 0.7-2 cm. membranous, sparsely clothed in fine, pale, prostrate hairs, base asymmetrical. Leaf sheath 1-2.5 cm long, striated, hispid, outer margin hairy. Ligule an eciliate or a fringed membrane 0.3 mm with hairs on the shoulders.


Flowers borne in very fine open delicate panicles. Panicle open, oblong or ovate in outline, 4-20 cm long, evenly furnished, with yellowish gland at base of branches. Branching of the inflorescence starts inside the leaf-sheath. Primary panicle branches spreading, 2-10 cm long, bearing 20-50 fertile spikelets on each lower branch. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets 2-flowered, hairy, lower floret sterile, upper fertile, without rhachilla extension, elliptic or ovate, dorsally compressed, obtuse, 0.8-1.5 mm long, falling entire. Rhachilla internodes elongated between glumes. Rhachilla elongation 0.2 mm long. Glumes dissimilar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate, 0.7-0.9 mm long, ¼-½ length of spikelet, membranous, keeled without lateral nerves, surface pubescent, apex acute. Upper glume elliptic or ovate, 1-1.3 mm long, equal length of spikelet, membranous, 3-5-nerved, pubescent, apex acute. Lemma of lower sterile floret similar to upper glume, ovate, 1-1.3 mm long, equal length of spikelet, membranous, 3-5-nerved, pubescent, acute. Fertile lemma oblong, dorsally compressed, 0.8-1.3 mm long, straw-coloured to yellow, surface granulose, margins involute. Ovary glabrous.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Grows in rainforest, monsoon forest, riparian forest, Eucalypt forest, vineforest, vine thicket and moist and shady places in woodland. Also from Africa, Temperate and Tropical Asia, New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, North America and South America.


 Panicum andrewsii Rendle, A Monograph of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): 192-193(1900).

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