Koeleria capensis (Steud.) Nees

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Synonyms: Aira capensis Steud.
Airochloa uniflora Hochst.
Koeleria convoluta Steud.
Koeleria convoluta var. densiflora Domin
Koeleria convoluta var. deusticola Domin
Koeleria convoluta var. typica Domin
Koeleria convoluta var. uniflora (Hochst.) Domin
Koeleria cristata sensu A. Rich,
Koeleria cristata var. brevifolia (Nees) C. E. Hubb.
Koeleria cristata var. convoluta (Steud.) C. E. Hubb.
Koeleria cristata var. densiflora (Domin) Peter
Koeleria cristata var. shiraensis C. E. Hubb.
Koeleria cristata var. supina (Domin) C. E. Hubb.
Koeleria gracilis var. convoluta (Steud.) Hedberg
Koeleria gracilis var. supina (Domin) Hedberg
Koeleria pyramidata var. brevifolia (Nees) Cufod.
Koeleria pyramidata var. convoluta (Steud.) Cufod.
Koeleria uniflora (Hochst.) Schweinf. & Aschers.
Koeleria wildemanii Domin
Common names:
Status: Native
A densely caespitose very variable perennial. Culms 15-90 cm. tall, 1-2-noded, erect or rarely geniculately ascending, simple, slender, almost wiry, terete, glabrous to sometimes thinly tomentose in the upper part. Leaves densely crowded at the slightly thickened base; leaf-sheaths longer than the lower internodes, striate, usually somewhat loose, often papery, long persistent, glabrous or pubescent. Ligule c. 2 mm. long. Leaf-laminae 3-35 cm. long, very narrowly linear to filiform, tapering to a hard bluntish tip, usually convolute or simply plicate, somewhat stiff, usually erect or nearly so, glabrous or pubescent, smooth or finely asperulous. Panicle (3)5-12(17) cm. long, erect, more or less cylindric, rather condensed, almost spike-like, continuous, or sometimes lobed and often interrupted; rhachis pubescent to thinly tomentose. Spikelets 4-7 mm. long, 2-4-flowered, elliptic to elliptic-obovate in lateral view, gaping, green, often tinged with purple, or sometimes variegated with brown and purple. Glumes with the keels scabrous or sometimes ciliolate towards the apex, margins hyaline and thin; the inferior 3.5-6 mm. long, 1-nerved, narrowly lanceolate; the superior 4.5-6 mm. long, usually 3-nerved, elliptic, apex acuminate. Lemmas 4-6.5 mm. long, 3-nerved, elliptic to elliptic-oblong, apex acuminate, with the keel scaberulous or sometimes ciliolate, the flanks asperulous or finely puberulous. Anthers 2-3 mm. long, linear. Caryopsis c. 3 mm. long.
Derivation of specific name: capensis: of the Cape
Habitat: In open grassland, on acid humic soil, often on rocks and steep slopes, often dominant high-altitude
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Cameroun, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe Tanzania and southwards to the Cape Province of South Africa
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 353. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 35.

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 46. As Koeleria cristata brevifolia

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 69 - 71. (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 106.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 149.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 86.

Other sources of information about Koeleria capensis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Koeleria capensis
Flora of Mozambique: Koeleria capensis
Flora of Zambia: Koeleria capensis

External websites:

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

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: Koeleria capensis.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=103730, retrieved 22 May 2024

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