Aristida hordeacea Kunth

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Synonyms: Aristida hordeacea var. longiaristata Henrard
Aristida pseudohordeacea Stent & J.M. Rattray
Aristida steudeliana Trin. & Rupr.
Common names:
Status: Native
Annual, 10-90 cm. high, caespitose. Culms erect or ascending, branched from the base and lower nodes, compressed, densely pubescent, sometimes becoming more or less glabrous, 3-4-noded; nodes pubescent. Leaf-sheaths keeled, pubescent. Ligule shortly ciliate; auricles shortly barbate; collar glabrous. Leaf-laminae c. 30 x 1 cm., more or less glaucous, flat or folded, scabrous on both surfaces or hirtellous above, becoming glabrous beneath. Panicle 25 x 1-3 cm., exserted, very dense, linear-oblong or subovate, spiciform or interrupted at the base, with a densely pubescent axis; branches solitary but much divided from the base. Spikelets linear-lanceolate, greenish or pallid, fascicled; pedicels pubescent. Glumes lanceolate, keeled, shortly and densely pubescent, awned or 2-fid at the apex with an awn from the sinus; the inferior 5-9 mm. long, with an awn 2·5-5 mm. long; the superior 6-10 mm. long, with an awn 1-4 mm. long. Lemma 5-7·5 mm. long, narrowly linear, fusiform, with many longitudinal rows of spiny hairs, ventrally furrowed, with a distinct articulation between the apex of the lemma and the base of the awns; column absent; callus c. 0·5 mm. long, obtuse, densely barbate; awns 15-50 mm. long, subequal, erect, scabrous. 2n = 22.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Grows on sandy, clayey and black basaltic soils, in open grasslands and woodlands mainly in shallow depressions, on edges of small pans, banks of streams and mopane velds
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Kenya, south-western Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, throughout tropical Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 503. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 29. As Aristida hordacea

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 116 - 118. (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 100.

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

Other sources of information about Aristida hordeacea:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Aristida hordeacea
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Aristida hordeacea
Flora of Malawi: Aristida hordeacea
Flora of Mozambique: Aristida hordeacea
Flora of Zambia: Aristida hordeacea

External websites:

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

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 hordeacea., retrieved 26 May 2024

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