Festuca caprina Nees

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Synonyms: Festuca nubigena var. caprina (Nees) St. Yves
Common names:
Status: Native
A very densely caespitose perennial. Culms 30-100 cm. tall, 1-2(3)-noded, erect, slender, wiry, smooth, glabrous. Leaf-sheaths fairly tight, open towards the mouth, smooth; the lower persistent, splitting into brown fibres which form more or less dense cushions around the culm-bases. Ligule very short, usually less than 1 mm. long. Leaf-laminae 3-25 x 0·05-0·2 cm., usually involute and filiform, rarely expanded, smooth, or inconspicuously scaberulous on the upper surface. Panicle 5-20 cm. long, open, rarely slightly contracted, narrowly ovate in outline, erect or somewhat drooping; branches slender but less flexuous than in the preceding sp., single or paired, simple or branched near the base. Pedicels unequal, short. Spikelets 10-15 mm. long, 4-7(9-)-flowered, oblong, gaping, bright green or tinged with dark purple, usually erect, rarely drooping. Glumes unequal, chartaceous, acute; the inferior 3-5·5 mm. long, 1-nerved, narrowly lanceolate to subulate; the superior 3·5-6·5 mm. long, 3-nerved, lanceolate. Lemmas 5-7·5 mm. long, dorsally scaberulous, sometimes thinly pubescent, lanceolate, with the apex tapering into a fine awn 1-3 mm. in length. Palea with the keels scabrous. Anthers 2·5-3 mm. long. Ovary shortly pilose at the apex.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In montane grassland, often in valley bottoms near streams
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1600 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: South Africa, Lesotho, extending through Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi into Tanzania
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 348.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 27.

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 42.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 57 - 58. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 105.

Other sources of information about Festuca caprina:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Festuca caprina
Flora of Zambia: Festuca caprina

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Festuca caprina
African Plant Database: Festuca caprina
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Festuca caprina
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Festuca caprina
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Festuca caprina
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Festuca caprina
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Festuca caprina
JSTOR Plant Science: Festuca caprina
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Festuca caprina
Plants of the World Online: Festuca caprina
Tropicos: Festuca caprina
Wikipedia: Festuca caprina

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Festuca caprina.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=103540, retrieved 24 May 2024

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