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.

Hyperthelia edulis

HABIT Annual. Culms 300–570 cm long; 4–9 mm diam.; with prop roots. Culm-nodes glabrous, or bearded. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Leaf-sheath auricles erect; 12–24 mm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 12–24 mm long; scarious; truncate. Leaf-blade base with a false petiole; petiole 5–16 cm long. Leaf-blades linear, or lanceolate; 50–100 cm long; 20–38 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous.

INFLORESCENCE Synflorescence compound; paniculate; 100–150 cm long. Inflorescence composed of racemes; terminal and axillary; subtended by a spatheole; enclosed. Spatheole lanceolate; 6.5–10 cm long; scarious; purple; glabrous. Peduncle glabrous, or pilose above.

Racemes 2; paired; deflexed, or spreading; 4.5–6 cm long; bearing few fertile spikelets; bearing 1 fertile spikelets on each. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; ciliate on margins. Rhachis internodes filiform. Rhachis internode tip oblique; flat. Raceme-bases filiform; unequal (the longer measured); 1–4 mm long; glabrous; extended into a flask-like appendage; with 15–20 mm long appendage.

Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels filiform; 4 mm long; ciliate; tip oblique.

STERILE SPIKELETS Basal sterile spikelets well-developed; lower raceme 2 in number; 0 in upper raceme; male; lanceolate; 25–30 mm long; equalling fertile. Basal sterile spikelet glumes glabrous; lower glume muticous.

Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; 25–45 mm long; as long as fertile; deciduous with the fertile. Companion sterile spikelet callus cuneate; 1 mm long; acute. Companion sterile spikelet glumes coriaceous; awned; one glume awned; with 5–10 mm long awn. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas 2; enclosed by glumes.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets linear; subterete; 25–35 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus cuneate; 8–10 mm long; bearded; base pungent; attached obliquely. Spikelet callus hairs white.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong; 1 length of spikelet; coriaceous; much thinner above; without keels; 12–14 -veined. Lower glume surface with a longitudinal median groove; pubescent; hairy above. Lower glume apex dentate; 2 -fid. Upper glume oblong; coriaceous; without keels; 3 -veined. Upper glume awned; 1 -awned. Upper glume awn 1–10 mm long.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret oblong; hyaline; 2 -veined; ciliate on margins. Fertile lemma linear; 10–14 mm long; hyaline; without keel; 3 -veined. Lemma margins ciliate. Lemma apex dentate; 2 -fid; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; geniculate; 90–140 mm long overall; with twisted column. Column of lemma awn hirtellous. Palea absent or minute.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; fusiform; 10 mm long.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: northeast tropical.

NOTES Andropogoneae. WDC.

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