Chrysopogon nigritanus (Benth.) Veldk.

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Chrysopogon nigritanus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Zambian side - 1st embarcation point, Katombora, Zambezi

Chrysopogon nigritanus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Zambian side - 1st embarcation point, Katombora, Zambezi

Chrysopogon nigritanus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Zambian side - 1st embarcation point, Katombora, Zambezi

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Synonyms: Andropogon nigritanus Benth.
Andropogon squarrosus L.f. var. nigritanus (Benth.) Hack.
Mandelorna insignis Steud.
Vetiveria nigritana (Benth.) Stapf
Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash var. nigritana (Benth.) A. Camus
Common names: Adrenaline grass (English)
Status: Native
Caespitose perennial; culms 150–300 cm high, unbranched, the uppermost nodes exposed, glabrous; ligule scarious with shortly ciliate margin or a line of hairs on an extremely short scarious rim; leaf laminas up to 90 cm × 7 mm, narrow. Panicle 15–40 cm long, lanceolate; main axis minutely ciliolate; whorls 8–10 each with up to 15 racemes; racemes very slender; rhachis internodes longer than the spikelets, glabrous; pedicels shorter than the sessile spikelets, glabrous. Sessile spikelet c. 7 mm long, narrowly linear-lanceolate; inferior glume coriaceous, spinulose on the back; superior glume coriaceous to chartaceous, sharply keeled in the middle and with inflexed margins, spinulose along the keel, drawn out into a shortly aristate tip; inferior floret with ovate hyaline lemma; superior floret bisexual, the lemma hyaline with a bilobed apex; awn c. 5 mm long, sometimes slightly exserted from the glumes, glabrous on the column, minutely scabrid on the bristle. Pedicelled spikelet neuter, shorter than the sessile; glumes similar to those of the sessile spikelet but less coriaceous and less spinulose; inferior glume c. 5 mm long, sparingly aculeolate along the keel towards the apex or almost smooth; superior glume smooth with flexible ciliate margins; inferior lemma hyaline with ciliate margins.
Notes: Tall tufted perennial grass, 150-300 cm. Inflorescence a large panicle, up to 40 cm, with 8-10 whorls of up to 15 slender branches with sessile linear-lanceolate spikelets.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: On river banks, occasionally on roadsides.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1300 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C
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: Wednesday 4 October 2006

Cope, T.A. (2002). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(4) Pages 36 - 38. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 492. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 65. As Vetiveria nigritana

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 101.

Setshogo, M.P. (2000). Notes on the grass subtribe Sorghinae (Poaceae: Andropogoneae) in the Flora Zambesiaca area Kirkia 17(2) Page 141. As Vetiveria nigritana

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 193. as Vetiveria nigritana

Other sources of information about Chrysopogon nigritanus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Chrysopogon nigritanus
Flora of Caprivi: Chrysopogon nigritanus
Flora of Malawi: Chrysopogon nigritanus
Flora of Mozambique: Chrysopogon nigritanus
Flora of Zambia: Chrysopogon nigritanus

External websites:

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

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: Chrysopogon nigritanus., retrieved 25 July 2024

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