Trachypogon spicatus (L.f.) Kuntze

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Trachypogon spicatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along stream about 200 m before it enters river flowing from Bakoramambo towards Mubvumodzi, Chimanimani mountains.

Trachypogon spicatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along stream about 200 m before it enters river flowing from Bakoramambo towards Mubvumodzi, Chimanimani mountains.

Trachypogon spicatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along stream about 200 m before it enters river flowing from Bakoramambo towards Mubvumodzi, Chimanimani mountains.

Trachypogon spicatus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along stream about 200 m before it enters river flowing from Bakoramambo towards Mubvumodzi, Chimanimani mountains.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Andropogon plumosus Willd.
Andropogon spicatus (L. f.) Steud.
Andropogon truncatus (Nees) Steud.
Heteropogon truncatus Nees
Stipa spicata L. f.
Trachypogon durus Stapf
Trachypogon glaucescens Pilg.
Trachypogon involutus Pilg.
Trachypogon planifolius Stapf
Trachypogon plumosus (Willd.) Nees
Trachypogon polymorphus Hack. var. truncatus (Nees) Hack.
Trachypogon truncatus (Nees) Andersson
Common names: Giant spear grass (English) Grey-beard grass (English)
Frequency:
Status: Native
Description:
Densely tufted perennial with unbranched, erect culms, often red or purple, up to 1.5 m tall. A ring of white hairs present at the nodes. Leaves basal, 5-20 cm long and c. 5 mm wide. Inflorescence a single spike 8-20 cm long. Spikelets 6-8 mm long with awns 35-70 mm long, covered in velvety white hairs. Awns straight when young but curving outwards and looking messy when older. Stamens bright yellow to orange.
Notes: A moderately nutritious grass but only palatable when young.
Similar to Heteropogon contortus and Urelytrum argopyroides but both those grasses do not have hairs at the nodes.
Derivation of specific name: spicatus: arranged in a spike; spicate
Habitat: Wooded grassland, sometimes at margins of floodplains or drainage tracks.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1700 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Throughout tropical Africa and South Africa. Also in South America.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Wednesday 3 August 2016
Literature:

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 365. (Includes a picture).

Cope, T.A. (2002). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(4) Pages 19 - 21. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 463. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 146.


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Other sources of information about Trachypogon spicatus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Trachypogon spicatus
Flora of Caprivi: Trachypogon spicatus
Flora of Malawi: Trachypogon spicatus
Flora of Mozambique: Trachypogon spicatus
Flora of Zambia: Trachypogon spicatus

External websites:

African Plant Database: Trachypogon spicatus
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Trachypogon spicatus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Trachypogon spicatus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Trachypogon spicatus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Trachypogon spicatus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Trachypogon spicatus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Trachypogon spicatus
Ispot Southern Africa : Trachypogon spicatus
JSTOR Plant Science: Trachypogon spicatus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Trachypogon spicatus
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Trachypogon spicatus
Tropicos: Trachypogon spicatus
West African Plants database: Trachypogon spicatus


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Trachypogon spicatus.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=108240, retrieved 6 December 2016

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