Aristida hispidula Henrard

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Common names:
Perennial, up to 70 cm. high, caespitose. Culms erect, simple, glabrous or slightly scaberulous, 2-3-noded; nodes glabrous, smooth. The lowermost leaf-sheaths compressed and keeled, strongly nerved, the upper ones subterete, slightly keeled, scaberulous, tight, sometimes slightly gaping at the apex. Ligule a short ciliate rim; auricles shortly pubescent and with a few long hairs. Leaf-laminae up to 8 cm. long, rather stiff, flat with inrolled margins, conduplicate or convolute, obtusely pointed, with prominent white midrib and marginal nerves, scaberulous or puberulous above, glabrous and smooth beneath. Panicle 10-15 cm. long, long-exserted, with a glabrous, smooth axis; branches 1-6 cm. long, very distant, solitary or 2-nate, at first erect, afterwards more or less spreading, naked in the lower 1/2, scaberulous or minutely pubescent, with shortly pubescent glandular patches in the axils. Spikelets reddish-green to yellowish-green, densely congested, imbricate, forming small, elongate, spiciform panicles at the ends of the branches. Glumes unequal, linear or nearly lanceolate; the inferior 9-10 mm. long, 1- or nearly 3-nerved (with short lateral nerves), minutely pubescent on the back and scabrid on the keel, gradually tapering into a mucro; the superior 6-8·5 mm. long, 1-nerved, smooth on the keel, slightly scaberulous towards the apex. Lemma 5-5·5 mm. long, fusiform, slightly keeled, glabrous, smooth at the base, with rows of scabridules towards the apex, slightly tapering upwards but scarsely beaked; callus c. 5 mm. long, very obtuse, densely long-barbate; column absent; awns slightly unequal, erect, scabrous; the central awn 8-11 mm. long, the lateral ones slightly shorter; articulation absent.
Derivation of specific name: hispidula: minutely rough with stiff hairs (hispidulous)
Habitat: In chrome-rich grassland, chrome vlei and black-land paddocks
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe, not known from elsewhere
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status: Endemic
Red data list status: Data deficient
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 181.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 99 - 100.

Mapaura, A. (2002). Endemic Plant Species of Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(1) Page 131.

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 100.

Other sources of information about Aristida hispidula:

External websites:

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

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 hispidula., retrieved 5 December 2023

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