Aira caryophyllea L.

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Synonyms: Aira caryophyllea var. latigluma (Steud.) C. E. Hubb.
Aira latigluma Steud.
Common names:
A delicate loosely caespitose annual. Culms 5-30 cm. tall, 1-many-noded, rather slender, almost filiform, erect or ascending from a geniculate base, smooth, glabrous. Leaf-sheaths slightly longer or slightly shorter than the internodes, striate, tight at first later loose and slipping off the culm, scaberulous along the nerves. Ligule up to 4 mm. long, lanceolate-oblong or triangular-oblong, acute to subobtuse, often lacerate. Leaf-laminae 2-7 x 0.02-0.06 cm., filiform, subsetaceous, almost always convolute, usually erect, rarely spreading, scaberulous along the nerves on both surfaces and along the margins, glabrous. Panicle 0.9-7.5 cm. long, ovate to oblong or obovate in outline, erect, somewhat contracted or open and loose; rhachis filiform, glabrous, smooth, branches paired or rarely solitary, bearing spikelets in the upper 1/2, very slender, almost capillary. Pedicels 2-10 mm. long, capillary. Spikelets 2.5-4.5 mm. long, ovate to broadly oblong in lateral view, pallid green or silvery-grey, sometimes tinged with purple, slightly glossy. Glumes 2.75-4.5 mm. long, broadly lanceolate, minutely scaberulous along the keel. Lemmas 1.75-2.5 mm. long (excluding the awn), ovate-lanceolate with the apex acute to subobtuse, dorsally asperulous towards the apex; awn 3-4 mm. long, usually brown; callus appressed-pilose. Anthers c. 0.3 mm. long. Caryopsis c. 1 mm. long.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Along roads, in open grassland, in disturbed areas, also abandoned fields, etc., usually on thin soil
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: European species, also distributed through western Asia, North Africa, west tropical Africa, extending throughout east tropical Africa to the Cape Prov
Malawi distribution: N
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 338. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 27. As Aira carophyllea

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 79 - 81. (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 186.

Other sources of information about Aira caryophyllea:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Aira caryophyllea
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Aira caryophyllea
Flora of Zimbabwe: Aira caryophyllea

External websites:

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

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: Aira caryophyllea., retrieved 20 April 2024

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