Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Melinis nerviglumis
(Franch.) Zizka, Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Rhynchelytrum nerviglume (Franch.) Chiov.; Rhynchelytrum rhodesianum (Rendle) Stapf & C. E. Hubb.; Rhynchelytrum setifolium (Stapf) Chiov.; Tricholaena setifolia Stapf

Common name(s): [more details]

English: bristle-leaved red top

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Perennial; caespitose. Butt sheaths glabrous, or pubescent. Basal innovations intravaginal. Culms erect; 15-120 cm long; (0.7-)1-2(-2.4) mm diameter; 4-6-noded. Culm-nodes glabrous, or pubescent. Leaves mostly basal. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface, or pilose; with tubercle-based hairs. Ligule a fringe of hairs; (0.3-)0.4-0.7(-1.5) mm long. Leaf-blades filiform; involute, or convolute; 5-30 cm long; 2-3(-4.5) mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous, or pilose.  Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle open; linear, or oblong; dense; 4-30 cm long; 1.5-5(-11) cm wide. Panicle branches capillary; pubescent in axils. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Pedicels glabrous, or bearing a few hairs; hairy above. Fertile spikelets: Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong, or ovate; laterally compressed; gibbous; (3-)4-5 mm long; with hairs extending 1-4 mm beyond apex; falling entire. Rhachilla internodes elongated below basal sterile floret. Glumes dissimilar; reaching apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong, or ovate; 0.5-1 mm long; 0.2-0.25 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 0-1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface villous. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume oblong; gibbous; 1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; much thinner above; without keels; 5(-7) -veined. Upper glume surface villous; hairy below. Upper glume margins ciliate. Upper glume hairs white, or purple. Upper glume apex lobed; 2 -fid; mucronate, or awned; 1-awned. Upper glume awn 1-3 mm long. Florets: Basal sterile florets male; with palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret similar to upper glume; oblong; 1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; much thinner above; 5 -veined; glabrous, or villous; hairy below; bearing white hairs, or purple hairs; emarginate; awned. Awn of lower sterile floret 2-6 mm long. Palea of lower sterile floret pilose. Fertile lemma oblong; laterally compressed; 2-2.5 mm long; cartilaginous; shiny; without keel; 5-veined. Lemma margins flat. Palea cartilaginous; without keels. Flower: Stigmas laterally exserted  (Grassbase).

Habitat/ecology:  "In grassland and woodland, usually on slopes, 1000-2400 m"  (Flora of Zimbabwe online).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Tropical and southern Africa, including Madagascar (GRIN).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 24 APR 2010 and was last updated on 25 APR 2010.