GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora


W.D. Clayton, M. Vorontsova, K.T. Harman & H. Williamson

© Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Helictotrichon longum

HABIT Perennial; caespitose. Rhizomes short. Butt sheaths persistent and investing base of culm. Culms 60–110 cm long; 3 -noded. Lateral branches lacking. Leaf-sheaths smooth; glabrous on surface, or pubescent. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 3–5 mm long; truncate. Leaf-blades 15–30 cm long; 2.5–10 mm wide; flaccid. Leaf-blade surface smooth, or scaberulous; rough adaxially. Leaf-blade apex attenuate.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle.

Panicle contracted; linear, or oblong; continuous, or interrupted; nodding; 15–30 cm long. Primary panicle branches 2–5 cm long. Panicle branches scaberulous.

Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 4–5 fertile florets; with a barren rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong; laterally compressed; 15–30 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Rhachilla internodes 2.5–3 mm long; pilose; hairy all along; with 3 mm long hairs. Floret callus evident; 1.25–2 mm long; pilose.

GLUMES Glumes persistent; similar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma; shiny. Lower glume lanceolate; 6.5–9 mm long; 0.75 length of upper glume; membranous; 1-keeled; 1–3 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent, or obscure. Lower glume apex acuminate. Upper glume lanceolate; 9–12 mm long; 0.66–0.75 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1-keeled; 3 -veined. Upper glume apex acuminate.

FLORETS Fertile lemma oblong; 15 mm long; cartilaginous; pallid, or purple; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma surface granulose. Lemma apex dentate; 2 -fid; awned; 3 -awned. Principal lemma awn dorsal; arising 0.5 way up back of lemma; geniculate; 20–25 mm long overall; with twisted column. Column of lemma awn 6–9 mm long. Lateral lemma awns arising on apex of lobes; 3 mm long. Palea 7 mm long. Palea keels ciliolate.

FLOWER Anthers 3; 2.5–3 mm long. Ovary pubescent on apex.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; hairy at apex. Hilum linear.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: south.

NOTES Aveneae. Schweickerdt 1993.

Please cite this publication as detailed in How to Cite Version: 3rd February 2016.