Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Scrotochloa urceolata (Roxb.) Judz.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Whole plant, fruiting. © CSIRO

Judziewicz, E.J. (1984) Phytologia 56(4): 300.


Perennial with elongated rhizomes having thick and wiry very strong roots. Culms erect or geniculately ascending or decumbent, 20-50 cm tall and rooting from the lower nodes.


Leaf-blades inverted, elliptic, 15-25 cm long and 40-60 mm wide. Leaf-blade venation slanting obliquely from midrib, with distinct cross nerves, margins smooth. Leaf-blade base with a false petiole half to nearly as long as the leaf-blade, striated and glossy, glabrous. Ligule a fringed membrane, 0.5-1 mm long with sometimes dense short hairs on the shoulders.


Plant monoecious, with male and female spikelets in the same inflorescence. Inflorescence a compound open panicle, ovate in outline, 10-12 cm long, contracted about primary branches. Primary panicle branches spreading or reflexed, 3-6-nate, whorled at most nodes, 6-14 cm long, stiff, straight, angular, pubescent, with hooked hairs. Sexes mixed. Spikelets in pairs, on shorter pedicels than the sterile ones. Male spikelets pedicelled, pedicels filiform (male) or cuneate (female). Fertile spikelets 1-flowered, comprising 1 fertile floret, without rhachilla extension, obovate, urceolate, laterally compressed, 4-6 mm long, falling entire, deciduous with accessory branch structures. Glumes two, similar, thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume obovate, length of upper glume, scarious, 7-9-nerved, surface pubescent, with hooked hairs. Upper glume obovate, 4-6 mm long, equalling adjacent fertile lemma, scarious, 2-keeled, 7-nerved, lateral nerves with cross-nerves, surface pubescent, with hooked hairs. Fertile florets female. Fertile lemma obovate, elliptic in profile, 4-8 mm long, coriaceous, 5-7(-13)-nerved. Lemma lwith obscure ateral nerves, with cross-nerves. Lemma surface puberulous or pubescent, with hooked hairs, margins closed except for an apical pore, covering most of palea. Lemma apex rostrate. Palea linear, longer than lemma. Palea surface pubescent, with hooked hairs. Anthers 6, 3-3.5 mm long. Stigmas 3, terminally exserted, plumose. Styles connate below. Ovary glabrous. Male spikelets similar to female but less developed, 3-4 mm long. Male spikelet glumes 2.


Grain with adherent pericarp, grooved and covered with hooked hairs (like Velcro).


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP on the Iron Range. Altitudinal range from 80-120 m. Grows in rainforest and less so in vineforest. Also from tropical Asia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

Pharus urceolatus Roxb., Flora indica 3: 611-612(1832), Type: Malaysia: Pulo Pinang (BM) Herb. Roxburgh.
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