Olyra latifolia L.

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Olyra latifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rusitu Forest

Olyra latifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rusitu Forest

Olyra latifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rusitu Forest

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Olyra brevifolia Schumach.
Common names:
Status: Native
Robust perennial. Culms 1-5m tall, many-noded, usually branched, erect straggling or arching, usually glossy. Leaf-sheaths striate, rather tight, inconspicuously keeled in the upper part, glabrous or scattered pilose, the mouth always shortly ciliate. Ligule rather short, truncate, often lacerate, broader than the base of the pseudo-petiole. Leaves up to 20 × 7 cm, glaucus, glabrous, ovate-oblong with a long drip-tip, contracted at the base into a short hairy pseudo-petiole. Inflorescence a panicle, 7-18 cm long, terminal (rarely with a laterally arising one from the axil of the uppermost leaf), erect, usually contracted, narrowly triangular in outline; rhachis angular, sometimes hairy; branches simple or divided. Pedicels of the male spikelets filiform, of the female spikelets conspicuously clavate. male spikelets laterally arranged, 3-6 mm. long, linear-lanceolate, acuminate; lemma awned; anthers c. 2·5 mm. long. female spikelets 7-10 mm. long, rather turgid; inferior glume c. 7-9 mm. long, acuminate, 5-7-nerved; the superior almost twice as long, tapering into a long flexuous cauda, 7-9-nerved; floret bony, whitish, glossy, shed without the persistent glumes.
Derivation of specific name: latifolia: broad-leaved
Habitat: In shade in evergreen and riverine forest, along streams and roadsides.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa as far as NE Cape, South Africa. Also in Madagascar and tropical America.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 49.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 24 - 25. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 107.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 150.

Other sources of information about Olyra latifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Olyra latifolia
Flora of Mozambique: Olyra latifolia
Flora of Zambia: Olyra latifolia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Olyra latifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Olyra latifolia
African Plant Database: Olyra latifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Olyra latifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Olyra latifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Olyra latifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Olyra latifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Olyra latifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Olyra latifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Olyra latifolia
Plants of the World Online: Olyra latifolia
Tropicos: Olyra latifolia
Wikipedia: Olyra latifolia

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Olyra latifolia.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=103410, retrieved 17 April 2024

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