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  1. Family: Poaceae Barnhart
    1. Genus: Sporobolus R.Br.
      1. Sporobolus africanus (Poir.) Robyns & Tournay

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to Ethiopia and S. Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Sri Lanka.

    [GB]
    Habit
    Perennial; caespitose. Butt sheaths papery. Culms erect; 30-110 cm long; 1.5-3 mm diam. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades flat, or convolute; 20-40 cm long; 1-4 mm wide. Leaf-blade apex filiform.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle contracted, or spiciform; linear; 10-35 cm long; contracted about primary branches. Primary panicle branches appressed; 1-2 cm long; bearing spikelets almost to the base. Panicle branches glabrous in axils. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; (1.5-)2.1-2.8 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.
    Fertile
    Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; (1.5-)2.1-2.8 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.
    Glume
    Glumes deciduous; dissimilar; shorter than spikelet. Lower glume oblong; 0.4-0.7 mm long; 0.4-0.5 length of upper glume; hyaline; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse. Upper glume ovate; 1-1.5 mm long; 0.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; dark green; without keels; 1 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume apex acute.
    Florets
    Fertile lemma ovate; (1.5-)2.1-2.8 mm long; membranous; dark green; without keel; 1 -veined. Lemma apex acute. Palea 2 -veined. Palea keels approximate.
    Flowers
    Anthers 3; 0.6-0.8 mm long.
    Fruits
    Caryopsis with free soft pericarp; ellipsoid; quadrangular; (0.8-)1.1-1.2 mm long.
    Distribution
    Africa: Macaronesia, west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, south, middle Atlantic ocean, and western Indian ocean. Asia-temperate: Arabia. Asia-tropical: India, Malesia, and Papuasia. Australasia: Australia and New Zealand. Pacific: southwestern, south-central, northwestern, and north-central.
    Reference
    Eragrostideae. FTEA.
    Diagnostic
    Grain truncate.
    [FWTA]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:2. 1972

    Habit
    Perennial, up to about 60 cm. high
    Ecology
    Montane grasslands.
    [FTEA]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips & S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

    Habit
    Tufted perennial, the basal sheaths rather broad and somewhat papery; culms 30–110 cm. high, 1.5–3 mm. in diameter at the base.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades flat or convolute, up to 40 cm. long, 1–4 mm. wide, tapering to a long filiform tip.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle linear with short side branches to spiciform, 10–35 cm. long, dense; primary branches appressed to the main axis, subsecund, densely spiculate along their whole length, the lowest 1–2 cm. long.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets (1.5–)2.1–2.8 mm. long, dark green; lower glume broadly oblong, 0.4–0.7 mm. long, hyaline, obtuse; upper glume narrowly ovate, 1–1.5 mm. long, ± 1/2 as long as the spikelet, acute; lemma ovate-elliptic, as long as the spikelet, acute; anthers 3, 0.6–0.8 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Grain ellipsoid, (0.8–)1.1– 1.2 mm. long, truncate at the top, often ± tetragonal in cross-section.
    Habitat
    Pathsides, disturbed sites, and grassland subject to grazing; 1300–2600 m.
    Distribution
    Cameroun and Ethiopia to South Africa K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T6 T7 U1 U2 U3
    [FZ]

    Gramineae, T. Cope. Flora Zambesiaca 10:2. 1999

    Habit
    Caespitose perennial without rhizomes or stolons; culms up to 130 cm tall, erect, unbranched; basal leaf sheaths broad, chartaceous, glabrous, laterally compressed, persistent; leaf laminas up to 40 cm × 1–4 mm, flat or involute, glabrous or scaberulous on the surfaces, thinly scabrid on the margins, tapering to a long filiform apex.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle (10)20–45 cm long, linear to spiciform; primary branches not in whorls, appressed to the main axis 1–2 cm long, thinly scabrid, eglandular, subsecund, the spikelets densely arranged along their whole length.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets 1.7–2.6 mm long, greyish-green to dark green; inferior glume 1/5–2/5 the length of the spikelet, broadly oblong, hyaline, nerveless, glabrous, obtuse at the apex; superior glume 2/5–3/5 the length of the spikelet, narrowly ovate, hyaline, 1-nerved, glabrous, acute at the apex; lemma as long as the spikelet, ovate-elliptic, acute; anthers 3, 0.6–1.2 mm long.
    Fruits
    Grain (0.8)1–1.2 mm long, elliptic to obovate, truncate at the top, tetragonal in section.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Ethiopia, Free State, Gulf of Guinea Is., Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Ascension, Canary Is., Cook Is., Easter Is., Hawaii, Kermadec Is., Leeward Is., Madagascar, Madeira, Marianas, Mauritius, New Guinea, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Niue, Norfolk Is., Northern Territory, Philippines, Queensland, Rodrigues, Réunion, Society Is., South Australia, St.Helena, Tasmania, Tokelau-Manihiki, Tristan da Cunha, Victoria, West Himalaya, Western Australia

    Synonyms

    Common Names

    English
    Ratstail Dropseed

    Other Data

    Sporobolus africanus (Poir.) Robyns & Tournay appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Nov 1, 2008 Cheek, M. [13579], Cameroon K000580325
    Jun 1, 2001 Pollard, B.J. [133], Cameroon K000107919
    Jan 1, 1984 Thompson, S.A. [1466], Cameroon K000182245
    Aug 1, 1975 Letouzey, R. [14217], Cameroon K000182253
    Nov 1, 1974 Letouzey, R. [13224], Cameroon K000182251
    Nov 1, 1974 Letouzey, R. [13141], Cameroon K000182252
    Oct 1, 1962 Brunt, M.A. [512], Cameroon K000182237
    Oct 1, 1962 Brunt, M.A. [699], Cameroon K000182238
    Mar 1, 1962 Boughey, A.S. [10749], Cameroon K000182242
    Mar 1, 1962 Boughey, A.S. [10450], Cameroon K000182243
    Jan 1, 1962 Morton, J.K. [856], Cameroon K000182241
    Hepper, F.N. [1946], Cameroon K000182244
    Mund [s.n.], Cape Province K000365129
    Michelson, A. [1184], Cameroon K000182247
    Bates G. L. [567], Cameroon K000182254 Unknown type material

    Bibliography

    First published in Bull. Jard. Bot. État Bruxelles 25: 242 (1955)

    Accepted by

    • Sykes, W.R. (2016). Flora of the Cook Islands: 1-973. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii.
    • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2013). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 5: 1-451. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
    • Greuter, W. & von Raab-Straube, E. (eds.) (2012). Euro+Med Notulae, 6 Willdenowia 42: 283-285.
    • Edgar, E & Connor, H.E. (2010). Flora of New Zealand, ed. 2, 5: 1-650. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.
    • Clayton, W.D. & Snow, N. (2010). A key to Pacific Grasses: 1-107. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Kandwal, M.K. & Gupta, B.K. (2009). An update on grass flora of Uttarkhand Indian Journal of Forestry 32: 657-668.
    • Gremmen, N. & Halbertsma, R.L. (2009). Alien plants and their impact on Tristan da Cunha 2: 1-307. Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP).
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cope, T.A., Knees, S.G. & Miller, A.G. (2007). Flora of the Arabian peninsula and Socotra 5(1): 1-387. Edinburgh University Press.
    • Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T. & Williamson, H. (2006). World Grass Species - Synonymy database The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Mallett, K. (ed.) (2005). Flora of Australia 44B: 1-486. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cope, T. (1999). Flora Zambesiaca 10(2): 1-261. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A Handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Orchard, A.E. (ed.) (1994). Oceanic Islands 1 Flora of Australia 49: 1-681. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Dassanayake (ed.) (1994). A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon 8: 1-458. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. PVT. LTD., New Delhi, Calcutta.
    • Ndabaneze, P. (1989). Catalogue des Graminées du Burundi Lejeunia; Revue de Botanique, n.s., 132: 1-127.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1988). Flora du Rwanda 4: I-X, 1-651. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Clayton, W.D., Phillips, S.M., Renvoize, S.A. (1974). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 2: 177-449.
    • Hepper, F.N. (ed.) (1972). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3(2): 277-574.
    • Lewalle, J. (1970). Liste floristique et répartition altitudinale de la flore du Burundi occidental: 1-84. Université officielle de Bujumbura.
    • Bosser, J. (1969). Gramiées des pasturages et des cultures a Madagascar: 1-440. ORSTOM, Paris.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Clayton in Kew Bull. 19: 291.
    • in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux. 25: 242 (1955)

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Bosser, J. & Renvoize, S.A. (2018). Flore des Mascareignes 203: 1-276. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris.
    • Sykes, W.R. (2016). Flora of the Cook Islands: 1-973. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii.
    • Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2013). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 5: 1-451. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
    • Greuter, W. & von Raab-Straube, E. (eds.) (2012). Euro+Med Notulae, 6 Willdenowia 42: 283-285.
    • Edgar, E & Connor, H.E. (2010). Flora of New Zealand, ed. 2, 5: 1-650. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.
    • Clayton, W.D. & Snow, N. (2010). A key to Pacific Grasses: 1-107. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Kandwal, M.K. & Gupta, B.K. (2009). An update on grass flora of Uttarkhand Indian Journal of Forestry 32: 657-668.
    • Gremmen, N. & Halbertsma, R.L. (2009). Alien plants and their impact on Tristan da Cunha 2: 1-307. Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP).
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cope, T.A., Knees, S.G. & Miller, A.G. (2007). Flora of the Arabian peninsula and Socotra 5(1): 1-387. Edinburgh University Press.
    • Mallett, K. (ed.) (2005). Flora of Australia 44B: 1-486. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2003). Flora of North America North of Mexico 25: 1-781. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cope, T. (1999). Flora Zambesiaca 10(2): 1-261. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Aedo, C., Tellería, M.T. & Velayos, M. (eds.) (1999). Bases Documentales para la Flora de Guinea Ecuatorial; Plantas vascularis y hongos: 1-414. CSIC, real jardín Botánico, Madrid.
    • Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Orchard, A.E. (ed.) (1994). Oceanic Islands 1 Flora of Australia 49: 1-681. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Dassanayake (ed.) (1994). A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon 8: 1-458. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. PVT. LTD., New Delhi, Calcutta.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1988). Flora du Rwanda 4: I-X, 1-651. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Brown, L.C. (1982). The Flora and Fauna of St Helena: 1-88. Land Resources Development Centre, Surbiton, England.
    • Clayton, W.D., Phillips, S.M., Renvoize, S.A. (1974). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 2: 177-449.
    • Hepper, F.N. (ed.) (1972). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3(2): 277-574.
    • Lewalle, J. (1970). Liste floristique et répartition altitudinale de la flore du Burundi occidental: 1-84. Université officielle de Bujumbura.
    • Bosser, J. (1969). Gramiées des pasturages et des cultures a Madagascar: 1-440. ORSTOM, Paris.
    • Hubbard, C.E. & Vaughan, R.E. (1940). Grasses of Mauritius and Rodriguez: 1-128. Crown Agents for the Colonies, London.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Clayton in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3: 410 (1972).
    • D.M. Napper, Grasses of Tanganyika: 47 (1965).
    • K.W. Harker & D.M. Napper, An Illustrated Guide to the Grasses of Uganda p. 56 (1960).
    • A.V. Bogdan, A Revised List of Kenya Grasses p. 29 (1958).
    • Robyns, Flore des Spermatophytes du Parc National Albert 3: 143 (1955).
    • Robyns & Tournay in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de l'État a Bruxelles 25: 242 (1955).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Plants and People Africa
    Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/