Aristida congesta Roem. & Schult.

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Aristida congesta

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Rest Camp, Matobo National Park.

Aristida congesta

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Rest Camp, Matobo National Park.

Aristida congesta

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Rest Camp, Matobo National Park.

Aristida congesta

Photo: Petra Ballings
Shashe Wilderness Camp, Tuli

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

Synonyms: Aristida alopecuroides Hack. apud Schinz
Aristida congesta Roem. & Schult. subsp. congesta
Aristida congesta var. genuina Chiov.
Aristida congesta var. megalostachya Henrard
Aristida congesta var. pilifera Chiov.
Aristida elytrophoroides Chiov.
Aristida longicauda Hack.
Aristida rangei Pilg.
Chaetaria congesta (Roem. & Schult.) Nees
Common names: Katsteekgras (Afrikaans) Tassel three-awn (English)
Status: Native
Densely tufted perennial grass, up to c. 80 cm high. Culms more or less erect, simple or branched from lower or upper nodes, rather wiry, hairless, smooth. Leaves linear, up to 20 cm long, folded but usually flat at the base, fairly rigid and more or less curved, scabrous or hispidulous above, hairless and smooth beneath; margins not thickened. Ligule a short-ciliolate rim. Panicle up to 25 cm long, dense and contracted, spike-like, often interrupted towards the base, sometimes with 1 or 2 subspicate more or less spreading branches at the base. Spikelets densely clustered, purplish or greenish. Inferior glume lanceolate, 4-8 mm long, often abruptly contracted at the apex, with a short awn, 1-4 mm long; superior glume narrower, 5-9 mm long, with a short awn 1-3 mm long. Lemma tubular, 4-6 mm long, scabrid, finely tuberculed; awns subequal, up to 12-30 mm long, scabrous, more or less divergent.
Notes: A variable grass with many subtaxa formerly described but no longer recognized
Derivation of specific name: congesta: congested (refers to a tight inflorescence)
Habitat: In open grassland, vleis, mopane woodland, near hot springs, in fallow fields, on old tobacco lands and in waste places
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.
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: Thursday 1 August 2019

Chapano, C. (2002). A checklist of Zimbabwean grasses Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 16. Pretoria. Page 4.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 4. As Aristida congesta congesta and A. congesta barbicollis

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 130.

Fish, L., Mashau, A.C., Moeaha, M.J. & Nembudani, M.T. (2015). Identification Guide to Southern African Grasses Strelitzia 36 South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria Page 90.

Klaassen Esmerialda, E.S. & Craven P. (2003). Checklist of grasses in Namibia SABONET Report No. 20 Page 10.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 127 - 128.

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.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 126. As var. congesta

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 94. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 38 - 39. as Aristida congesta subsp. congesta (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 131.

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 congesta

Other sources of information about Aristida congesta:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Aristida congesta
Flora of Caprivi: Aristida congesta
Flora of Mozambique: Aristida congesta
Flora of Zambia: Aristida congesta

External websites:

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

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 congesta., retrieved 30 May 2024

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