Eragrostis tincta S.M. Phillips

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Eragrostis tincta

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mt Rukotso near radio beacon.

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Synonyms: Lasiochloa alopecuroides Hack.
Stiburus alopecuroides (Hack.) Stapf
Triphlebia alopecuroides (Hack.) Stapf
Common names: Pongwa grass (English)
Frequency: Very locally frequent.
Status: Native
Densely caespitose perennial without rhizomes or stolons; culms up to 60 cm tall, erect, usually unbranched, glabrous at the nodes (but sometimes pilose on the internodes), eglandular; basal leaf sheaths glabrous, chartaceous, ± terete, eglandular, persistent; ligule a line of hairs; leaf laminas (5)9–30 cm × 1–2 mm, very narrowly linear to setaceous, straight, curved or coiled, usually involute, softly pilose, eglandular.Panicle (2)3–8(10.5) cm long, cylindrical, dense and compact or rarely interrupted, the spikelets subsessile, the primary branches not in whorls, terminating in a fertile spikelet, glabrous in the axils, eglandular.Spikelets (2.7)3–4.5 × 1.6–4.6 mm, broadly ovate to ovate-elliptic, laterally compressed, (2)3–6-flowered, the lemmas disarticulating from below upwards but the rhachilla very fragile and usually breaking off above the glumes as the spikelet matures; glumes subequal, 2.3–3.6 mm long, reaching to 2/3 the way along the adjacent lemmas, sometimes reaching almost to the apex, keeled, lanceolate in profile, softly pilose, acuminate or rarely acute at the apex; lemmas 3.3–4.1 mm long, keeled, lanceolate in profile, membranous with distinct lateral nerves, diverging from the rhachilla at c. 45°, those in opposite rows not imbricate, the rhachilla visible between them, brownish, purple or blackish, densely silky-pilose, acuminate at the apex; palea persistent, with a tuft of hairs on the back between the keels, the keels slender, wingless, scaberulous; anthers 3, 0.9–1.2 mm long.Caryopsis 1.5–2 mm long, oblong-elliptic.
Notes: Short, densely tufted grass. Leaves linear, covered in white, glandular hairs. Inflorescences dense. Spikelets dark purple, with whitish hairs.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In montane grassland, usually in wet places such as vleis and seepage zones.
Altitude range: (metres) 1250 - 2560 m
Flowering time:Feb - May
Worldwide distribution: Eastern Zimbabwe, Eswatini, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 16 December 2008

Chapano, C. (2002). A checklist of Zimbabwean grasses Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 16. Pretoria. Page 7.

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 122 - 124. (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 154 - 155. (Includes a picture).

Simon, B.K. (1971). Rhodesian grass list. Kirkia 8(1) Page 28. as Stiburus alopecuroides

Van Oudtshoorn, F.P. (1992). Grasses of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Page 95. as Stiburus alopecuroides (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 85.

Other sources of information about Eragrostis tincta:

External websites:

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

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 tincta., retrieved 26 May 2024

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