Aristida cumingiana Trin. & Rupr.

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Synonyms: Aristida delicatula A. Rich.
Common names:
Status: Native
Annual, mostly 5-10(25) cm. high, simple or densely caespitose. Culms erect, usually much branched below, glabrous, smooth, 1-2-noded; nodes glabrous, smooth. Leaf-sheaths smooth or minutely pubescent, striate, keeled. Ligule a short-ciliate rim; auricles pubescent or with a few long hairs; collar glabrous or minutely pubescent. Leaf-laminae up to 6 cm. long, scarcely 1 mm. wide, very narrow, involute, scabrous, with scattered long hairs above, glabrous, smooth beneath. Panicles 1/2 as long as the whole plant or sometimes even longer, lax, or effuse, somewhat contracted; axis glabrous or scabrid; branches capillary, scaberulous, naked below, the lower 2-nate or in 3. Spikelets dark-purple or greenish tinged with purple. Glumes unequal, gradually tapering into a short mucro, glabrous, smooth or scaberulous towards the apex, keeled; the inferior 1·5-2 mm. long, lanceolate, scabrous on the keel, nearly 3-nerved, the superior 2-2·5 mm. long, narrowly lanceolate, smooth on the keel, 1-nerved. Lemma 1·5-2·5 mm. long, greenish or purplish, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, glabrous and smooth in the lower part, with rows of minute scabridules towards the apex; callus 0·1-0·2 mm. long, obtuse, shortly barbate; beak and column absent; awns unequal, delicate, scabrid, the central one 4·5-6 mm. long, slightly recurved, the lateral ones 2·5-4 mm. long, suberect; articulation absent.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: On yellow-sandy or vlei (serpentine or norite) soils, mainly in open situations, on hillsides, in clearings, semi-dambos in woodland areas and on roadsides in moist dambos
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Ethiopia eastwards through India, Siam and China to the Philippines
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 109 - 110. (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.

Other sources of information about Aristida cumingiana:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Aristida cumingiana
Flora of Zambia: Aristida cumingiana

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Aristida cumingiana., retrieved 29 November 2023

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