Festuca africana (Hack.) Clayton

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Synonyms: Pseudobromus africanus (Hack.) Stapf
Pseudobromus silvaticus K. Schum.
Common names:
Status: Native
A caespitose perennial, with a short knotty rhizome. Culms up to 125 cm. tall, 2-7-noded, branched from the base, erect or sharply ascending, slender, wiry, faintly striate, usually glossy, glabrous. Leaf-sheaths slightly longer than the internodes, tight at first, later often slipping off the culm, scaberulous or smooth. Ligule 3-8 mm. long, obtuse to acuminate, glabrous. Leaf-laminae 5-45 x 0·3-1·5 cm., narrowly lanceolate to linear, base auricled, tapering to a setaceous point, usually expanded, rarely folded around the middle, somewhat rigid, dark green, scaberulous on the nerves especially on the upper surface, scabrous along the margins. Panicle up to 45 cm., long, terminal, lax, open, slightly nodding or erect; rhachis rather slender, terete or sometimes flattened, smooth or often scaberulous towards the apex; branches up to 20 cm. long, fascicled, rarely solitary, terete, flexuous, sparsely branched. Spikelets 7-10 mm. long, 1-flowered, with the rhachilla produced beyond the floret into a fine bristle (sometimes terminating in a reduced lemma), narrowly elliptic or narrowly ovate in outline, dark green, slightly laterally compressed to terete; extension of the rhachilla slightly longer than 1/2 the length of the spikelet. Glumes with the apex acute or rarely subobtuse, margins hyaline; the inferior 2·5-4·5(5·25) mm. long, 1-nerved (very rarely sub-3-nerved), lanceolate triangular; the superior (3)4·5-6·75 mm. long, 3-nerved (the lateral nerves sometimes evanescent), broadly lanceolate-triangular. Lemma 6-9 mm. long (excluding awn), 3-nerved, narrowly lanceolate; awn (8)14-20 mm. long. Palea c. as long or slightly longer than the lemma. Callus rounded, pilose, gibbous in lateral view. Anthers 2·5-4·75(6) mm. long. Caryopsis c. 6 mm. long, reniform in cross-section; embryo 1/6-1/5 the length of the caryopsis; hilum linear, stretching the whole length of the caryopsis.
Derivation of specific name: africana: African
Habitat: Growing in evergreen forests in places where the shade is not too heavy, also on banks in forest streams
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique,South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 348.

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 55. As Pseudobromus sylvaticus

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Page 52. As Pseudobromus silvaticus

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 105.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 148.

Other sources of information about Festuca africana:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Festuca africana
Flora of Mozambique: Festuca africana
Flora of Zambia: Festuca africana
Flora of Zimbabwe: Festuca africana

External websites:

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

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: Festuca africana.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=103520, retrieved 13 April 2024

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