Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Perotis rara R.Br.

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Herbarium specimen. © DERM

Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 172.

Common name

Comet grass


Annual or short-lived perennial. Culms loosely tufted and decumbent at base, 15-40 cm tall, node a sunken ring.


Leaf sheaths glabrous, equalling the internodes; leaf blades lanceolate to narrowly ovate, flat or the margins involute, tough, 1.5-5 cm long and 2-5 mm wide, glaucous, glabrous, margins spiny-scabrous especially in the lower half. Ligule a very short ciliated membrane 0.2 mm long, with long hairs on the shoulders.


Inflorescence up to 20 cm long; spikelets laxly arranged, horizontally spreading, reflexed at maturity, with short pedicels ca. 0.3 mm long; rachis scaberulous-hirtellous. Spikelets 3.5-4.5 mm (excluding awns); basal callus 0.5-1.5 mm, narrowly obconical, flattened, sometimes laterally pubescent; glumes linear-lanceolate, back evenly scaberulous-hirtellous with short white hairs, keel green and scabrous with longer prickles toward awn, apex gradually tapering into awn; awn 1-2.5 cm, scabrous; lemma 1.2-1.5 mm.


Caryopsis terete, tapered towards the apex, 2.5-3 x 0.44 mm.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and widespread through much of Australia. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 810 m. Grows in rainforest margins, Eucalypt forest, vine thicket, various types of woodland, grassland and on coastal dunes. Also from New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

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