Schmidtia pappophoroides Steud. ex J.A. Schmidt

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Schmidtia pappophoroides

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rimiti West (2nd stop), by main Mutare to Birchenough Bridge rd

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Synonyms: Antoschmidtia bulbosa (Stapf) Peter
Antoschmidtia quinqueseta (Benth.) Boiss.
Schmidtia bulbosa Stapf
Schmidtia glabra Pilg.
Schmidtia quinqueseta Benth. ex Ficalho & Hiern
Common names: Kalahari sand quick (English) Sand quick (English)
Status: Native
Perennial, with a short creeping rhizome, often with long surface stolons. Culms up to 100 cm. tall (usually much less!), 3- to many-noded, erect or geniculately ascending, almost always bulbous-like thickened at the base, simple or more often branched from the lower nodes, often with crowded intra-vaginal innovation-shoots and then suffrutescent in appearance, sometimes woody, finely striate, pubescent or sometimes glabrous, often somewhat viscous with gland-tipped hairs; the lower internodes usually short, the uppermost long exserted and slender. Leaf-sheaths tight when young, later loose and slipping off the culm; the lowermost scale-like, subcoriaceous, densely packed and often sericeous or villous. Leaf-laminae 5-16 x 0.2-0.7 (rarely more) cm., linear or linear-lanceolate, tapering to a setaceous point, sometimes somewhat curling towards the apex, involute or flat, glaucous, pubescent on both surfaces and sometimes slightly viscous with gland-tipped hairs. Panicle 6-12 x 2-4.5 cm., loose to somewhat contracted, ovate, elliptic, elliptic-oblong in outline, erect or rarely drooping; branches spreading to ascending, sometimes appressed to the rhachis; rhachis, branches and pedicels scabrous and often hairy. Spikelets up to 1.5 cm. long, pedicelled to subsessile, obovate to obovate-oblong in lateral view, sericeous to villous. Glumes light grey-green or dull green, acute to subobtuse, glabrous or finely pubescent, rarely with a few gland-tipped hairs, smooth or asperulous; the inferior (4.6)5-7.5(10.5) mm. long, (7)9-11(13)-nerved; the superior (6)6.5-9 (rarely -11.5) mm. long, (8) 9-11 (rarely -14)-nerved, always slightly shorter than the spikelet. Lowest lemma (8.5)9.5-14(-18) mm. long; awns (4.5) 5.75-8(13) mm. long. Palea 4.25-5.75 mm. long, usually with a few gland-tipped hairs along the keels towards the apex or sometimes without glands. Anthers (2)2.5-3.5(4) mm. long. Caryopsis c. 1.5 mm. long, yellowish-brown.
Notes: Perennial tufted grass, up to 1 m, but usually much less, often with stolons above ground. Leaves bluish-green, densely hairy. Culms swollen near the base. Inflorescence a panicle. Spikelets with long hair-like glumes.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: A species of sandy or gravelly soils in woodland, riverine fringes and along roadsides, mostly in dry areas.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Oct - Jun
Worldwide distribution: West Africa to Mauritania, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and South Africa. Also in Cape Verde Islands
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

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 32.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 498. (Includes a picture).

Isaiah, A.M. & Komi, T. (2015). Grasses in the Botswana National Botanic Garden South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria Page 30. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 58. As Schmidtia bulbosa

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 150 - 152. (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 109.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 178 - 179. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 144.

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 192.

Other sources of information about Schmidtia pappophoroides:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Schmidtia pappophoroides
Flora of Caprivi: Schmidtia pappophoroides
Flora of Mozambique: Schmidtia pappophoroides
Flora of Zambia: Schmidtia pappophoroides
Flora of Zimbabwe: Schmidtia pappophoroides

External websites:

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

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: Schmidtia pappophoroides., retrieved 22 April 2024

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