Eragrostis bicolor Nees

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Common names:
Densely caespitose perennial with short horizontal rhizome; culms up to 50 cm tall, usually erect, unbranched, glabrous at the nodes, with scattered gland-dots; basal leaf sheaths glabrous or obscurely pubescent, chartaceous, terete or lightly compressed and keeled, gland-dotted along the midnerve, persistent; ligule a line of hairs; leaf laminas 3–12(17) cm × 1.5–2.5 mm, linear, flexuous or coiled, flat or involute, glabrous, rarely gland-dotted on the midnerve beneath.Panicle (2.5)4–12(18) cm long, ovate to ovate-oblong, loose and open (very rarely somewhat contracted), the spikelets evenly distributed on pedicels 0.8–2.5 mm long, the primary branches not whorled, terminating in a fertile spikelet, glabrous in the axils, rarely with scattered gland-dots.Spikelets 3–8 × c. 1.5 mm, linear to oblong-lanceolate, lightly laterally compressed, 3–9(12)-flowered, the florets disarticulating from below upwards, the rhachilla persistent; glumes subequal, 1–1.6 mm long, reaching to between 1/2 and 2/3 the way along the adjacent lemmas, lightly keeled, oblong-lanceolate in profile, glabrous or faintly scaberulous, subacute to acute at the apex; lemmas 1.4–1.6 mm long, dorsally rounded or lightly keeled above, semi-ovate in profile (with straight keel and gibbous margins), membranous with distinct lateral nerves, diverging from the rhachilla at up to 45°, those in opposite rows not imbricate, the rhachilla visible between them, variegated with green and purple, pallid or yellow at the apex, smooth or faintly scaberulous on the flanks above, obtuse at the apex; palea deciduous with or soon after the lemma, glabrous on the flanks, the keels slender, wingless, scaberulous; anthers 3, 0.6–0.9 mm long.Caryopsis c. 0.6 mm long, oblong.
Derivation of specific name: bicolor: 2-coloured
Habitat: In hot low rainfall areas, in sandveld and in damp soils of shallow pans, often in sandy soils; also in disturbed ground
Altitude range: (metres) 610 - 1470 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: 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

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 15.

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 81 - 82. (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 103.

Poilecot, P. (2007). Eragrostis species of Zimbabwe Éditions Quae,Versailles, France Pages 84 - 85. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 136.

Other sources of information about Eragrostis bicolor:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Eragrostis bicolor
Flora of Mozambique: Eragrostis bicolor

External websites:

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

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: Eragrostis bicolor., retrieved 14 April 2024

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