Aristida barbicollis Trin. & Rupr.

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Synonyms: Aristida barbicollis var. conglomerata Henrard
Aristida congesta Roem. & Schult. subsp. barbicollis (Trin. & Rupr.) De Winter
Aristida lommelii Mez
Chaetaria forskolii Nees
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial, 20-65 cm. high, usually glaucous, densely caespitose. Culms erect or ascending, slender, simple or branched from the lower nodes, somewhat wiry, distinctly compressed, especially below, usually glabrous, sometimes slightly scaberulous, 3-4-noded; nodes glabrous, smooth. Leaf-sheaths more or less keeled, tight or lax, glabrous or somewhat scaberulous. Ligule densely short-ciliolate; auricles usually long-barbate; collar laterally barbate, more or less glabrous on the back. Leaf-laminae up to 10(20) cm. long, narrowly linear, conduplicate or convolute, fairly rigid, curved or flexuous, with a rather obtuse apex, with somewhat thickened marginal nerves, scabrous or hispidulous above, glabrous and smooth beneath. Panicle variable in shape and size, usually 15 x 5-10 cm., open, ovate to oblong, with several more or less spreading branches having spikelets congested towards the ends, forming often false spikes; axis erect or flexuous, terete, glabrous, smooth below, more or less subangular, scaberulous in the upper part; branches solitary or 2-nate, distant, scaberulous, naked for 1-6 cm. in the lower part. Spikelets greenish, usually tinged with purple. Glumes keeled, subhyaline, 1-nerved; the inferior usually 5-5.5 mm. long, lanceolate, scaberulous on the keel and laterally towards the apex, usually gradually tapering into a short awn c. 0.8-2 mm. long; the superior c. 6.5-8 mm. long, narrowly lanceolate, usually smooth on the keel, awned or deeply 2-fid at the apex with a c. 1 mm. long awn from the sinus and sometimes with well-developed narrow lateral lobes. Lemma 3.5-4.5 mm. long, sometimes mottled with purple, glabrous below, scabrous towards the apex; callus c. 1 mm. long, usually subacute, densely barbate; column of the awns c. 2.5 mm. long, twisted, scaberulous; awns 11-25 mm. long, subequal or the central one somewhat longer up to 30 mm., slender, scaberulous, more or less spreading; articulation between the apex of the column and the base of the awns.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In various types of woodland, on grassy hillsides, along roadsides and in disturbed areas, often on sandy soils but also on serpentine soils or shallow black soils on granite kopjies.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Cape Province, Congo, Kenya, Natal, south-western Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Transvaal, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe
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

Isaiah, A.M. & Komi, T. (2015). Grasses in the Botswana National Botanic Garden South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria Page 4. as Aristida congesta subsp. barbicollis (Includes a picture).

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 129 - 131. (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 99.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 27. As Aristida congesta barbicollis

Other sources of information about Aristida barbicollis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Aristida barbicollis
Flora of Mozambique: Aristida barbicollis
Flora of Zambia: Aristida barbicollis

External websites:

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

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: Aristida barbicollis., retrieved 26 May 2024

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