Brachypodium flexum Nees

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Synonyms: Brachypodium flexum var. abyssinicum Schimper
Brachypodium multiflorum Engl.
Brachypodium diaphanum Cufod.
Brachypodium pubescens Engl.
Brachypodium schumannianum Pilg.
Dinebra K. Schum.
Festuca diaphana Steud.
Triticum flexum (Nees) A. Rich.
Common names:
Status: Native
A very variable perennial. Culms up to 100 cm. tall, 5-many-noded, usually branched below, rarely simple, straggling, ascending from a geniculate base, or often decumbent and rooting from the lower nodes, terete, wiry, rather slender, smooth, glabrous or sometimes hairy below the nodes; nodes finely pubescent. Leaf-sheaths shorter than the internodes, striate, tight at first, later slipping off the culm, with a row of spreading hairs along the margins, otherwise glabrous or rarely scattered pilose. Ligule c. 1 mm. long, truncate. Leaf-laminae 5-15 x 0.3-0.8 cm., linear, long tapering to a fine flexible point, dark-green to glaucous, somewhat rigid to almost flaccid, usually scattered pilose, sometimes glabrous, smooth on the upper, scaberulous on the lower surface. Raceme 4-15 cm. long, erect or more often pendulous, bearing 3-9 spikelets; rhachis very slender, frequently curved, compressed, glabrous, scabrous mainly along the margins. Pedicels hardly more than 1.5 mm. long. Spikelets 1.25-4.5 cm. long, 7-many-flowered, usually overlapping but sometimes remote, horizontally spreading to obliquely ascending, glabrous or thinly pubescent. Glumes with the apex acute to acuminate, chartaceous, strongly nerved; inferior 3-6 mm. long, (3)4-5-nerved, narrowly triangular to lanceolate-subulate; superior 5-8.5 mm. long, 7-nerved, lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong. Lemmas 6-8 mm. long, 7-nerved, firmly membranous, lanceolate, tapering into the awn, inconspicuously scaberulous, rarely shortly pubescent; awn 3-7.5 mm. long, slender, straight. Paleas 7-8 mm. long, with rigid cilia along the keels. Anthers c. 3 mm. long, linear.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In open forests, forest outskirts, along forest margins and in moist shady localities such as stream-sides and river banks, often rambling over bushes
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, 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 341. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 32.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 63 - 65. (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 101.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 146.

Other sources of information about Brachypodium flexum:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Brachypodium flexum
Flora of Mozambique: Brachypodium flexum
Flora of Zambia: Brachypodium flexum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Brachypodium flexum

External websites:

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

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: Brachypodium flexum., retrieved 16 April 2024

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