1. Family: Poaceae Barnhart
    1. Genus: Sporobolus R.Br.
      1. Sporobolus panicoides A.Rich.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Eritrea to S. Africa, SW. Arabian Peninsula.

    [GB]
    Habit
    Annual; caespitose. Culms erect; 15-100 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades 5-30 cm long; 2-6 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface pilose; sparsely hairy. Leaf-blade margins glabrous.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle open; elliptic; 4-18 cm long. Primary panicle branches whorled at most nodes; bearing 1-4 fertile spikelets on each lower branch; sterile at lowest node (or bearing only 1-2 spikelets). Panicle branches capillary. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; 2-2.7 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.
    Fertile
    Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; 2-2.7 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret.
    Glume
    Glumes deciduous; similar; exceeding apex of florets. Lower glume ovate; 0.8-1.7 mm long; 0.4-0.6 length of upper glume; membranous; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume ovate; 2-2.7 mm long; 2 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; without keels; 1 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume apex acute.
    Florets
    Fertile lemma ovate; 1-1.2 mm long; membranous; without keel; 1 -veined. Lemma apex acute. Palea 2 -veined. Palea keels approximate.
    Flowers
    Anthers 3; 1.2 mm long.
    Fruits
    Caryopsis with free soft pericarp; orbicular; isodiametric; 1.2-1.5 mm long.
    Distribution
    Africa: northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south. Asia-temperate: Arabia.
    Reference
    Eragrostideae. FTEA.
    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    Loosely caespitose annual; culms up to 100 cm tall, erect, often branched below; leaf sheaths chartaceous, glabrous on the back, pilose near the margins, slightly compressed; leaf laminas 5–30 cm × 2–6 mm, flat or involute, sparsely pilose above, glabrous beneath, not pectinate-ciliate on the margins, attenuate at the apex.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle 4–22 cm long, narrowly elliptic; branches in a succession of whorls, scaberulous, eglandular, the spikelets 1–4 per branch (but 0–2 on those of the lowermost whorl), evenly distributed in the distal part.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets 2–2.7 mm long, pallid with purple tinge below; inferior glume 1/3–2/5 the length of the spikelet, rarely minute, narrowly ovate, nerveless, glabrous, obtuse to subacute at the apex; superior glume as long as the spikelet, ovate, 1-nerved, glabrous, acute at the apex; lemma a little shorter than the spikelet, elliptic-ovate; anthers 3, 1.2–1.5 mm long.
    Fruits
    Grain rotund or subrotund, 1.2–1.7 mm across, terete.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Loosely tufted annual; culms 15–100 cm. high, erect.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades linear, 5–30 cm. long, 2–6 mm. wide, sparsely pilose, not pectinate-ciliate on the margins.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle narrowly elliptic, 4–18 cm. long; primary branches in whorls, capillary, bearing 1–4 spikelets, those of the lowest whorl with only 1–2 spikelets or sometimes barren.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets 2–2.7 mm. long; lower glume narrowly ovate, 0.8–1.7 mm. long; upper glume ovate, as long as the spikelet; lemma elliptic-ovate, 1–1.2 mm. long; anthers 3, 1.2 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Grain spherical, 1.2–1.5 mm. in diameter.
    Figures
    Fig. 100, p. 360.
    Habitat
    Deciduous bushland on dry sandy soils in shade, or on grey or black seasonally wet soils; 1100–2000 m.
    Distribution
    K2 K3 T1 T2 T4 T5 T7 U1 U3 Sudan, Ethiopia and Somali Republic to South Africa

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Common Names

    English
    Christmas tree grass, Famine grass

    Sporobolus panicoides A.Rich. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Schimper [1181], Ethiopia K000365277 syntype
    Schimper [1181], Ethiopia K000365278 syntype
    Bidgood, S. [5115], Tanzania K000190343
    Quartin [198], Ethiopia K000365279 syntype

    First published in Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 399 (1850)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1995). Flora of Somalia 4: i-ii, 1-298. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Clayton, W.D., Phillips, S.M., Renvoize, S.A. (1974). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 2: 177-449.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Clayton, W.D., Phillips, S.M., Renvoize, S.A. (1974). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 2: 177-449.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • D.M. Napper, Grasses of Tanganyika: 46 (1965).
    • K.W. Harker & D.M. Napper, An Illustrated Guide to the Grasses of Uganda p. 57 (1960).
    • A.V. Bogdan, A Revised List of Kenya Grasses p. 27 (1958).
    • Jackson & Wiehe, Ann. list Nyasaland grasses: 61 (1958).
    • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Sudan 3: 548 (1956).
    • Eggeling, Ann. list grasses Ug.: 45 (1947).
    • A. Rich., Tent. El. Abyss. 2: 399 (1851).

    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

    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/