Eragrostis pallens Hack.

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Synonyms: Eragrostis dura Stapf
Common names: Besemgras (Afrikaans) Broom love grass (English) Gemsbokgras (Afrikaans)
Densely caespitose perennial without rhizomes and usually without stolons; culms up to 140(200) cm tall, robust, erect, branched or unbranched, glabrous at the nodes, eglandular; basal leaf sheaths thinly pilose below or glabrous, firmly chartaceous, terete or lightly laterally compressed, eglandular, persistent; ligule a line of hairs; leaf laminas 7–40(100) cm × 3–5(8) mm, linear, involute, glabrous or thinly pilose, eglandular.Panicle 13–45 cm long, narrowly oblong to broadly ovate, open, the spikelets subsessile or shortly pedicelled (0.5–1 mm) on the racemose primary branches or on secondary branchlets, the primary branches ascending or spreading, not in whorls, terminating in a fertile spikelet, glabrous in the axils, eglandular.Spikelets 10–21 × 1.7–2 mm, narrowly oblong to linear, lightly laterally compressed, 8–36-flowered, the florets disarticulating from the apex downwards, the rhachilla fragile; glumes somewhat unequal, the inferior 0.7–1.5 mm long, reaching to about the middle of the adjacent lemma, lightly keeled, narrowly lanceolate to narrowly elliptic in profile, glabrous, subacute or obtuse at the apex, the superior 1–1.8 mm long, reaching to about 2/3 the way along the adjacent lemma, lightly keeled, oblong-lanceolate to oblong-elliptic in profile, glabrous, obtuse at the apex; lemmas 1.7–2.2 mm long, lightly keeled, ovate-elliptic in profile, subcoriaceous with obscure lateral nerves, ± appressed to the rhachilla, those in opposite rows somewhat imbricate and ± concealing the rhachilla, pallid or dark green, glabrous, obtuse at the apex; palea glabrous on the flanks, the keels slender, wingless, scaberulous; anthers 3, 1–1.4 mm long.Caryopsis 0.7–0.8 mm long, elliptic.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Floodplain and dambo grasslands, sandveld and wooded short grasslands with mopane or with mixed deciduous trees, on Kalahari Sand and other sandy soils
Altitude range: (metres) 30 - 1500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, 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

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 92 - 93. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 472. (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 104.

Poilecot, P. (2007). Eragrostis species of Zimbabwe Éditions Quae,Versailles, France Pages 102 - 103. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 122 - 123. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 137.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 189.

Other sources of information about Eragrostis pallens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Eragrostis pallens
Flora of Caprivi: Eragrostis pallens
Flora of Mozambique: Eragrostis pallens
Flora of Zambia: Eragrostis pallens

External websites:

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

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 pallens., retrieved 16 June 2024

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