Leersia hexandra Sw.

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Leersia hexandra

Picture: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, nr one end of dam wall

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Synonyms: Asprella hexandra (Sw.) Roem. & Schult.
Homalocenchrus hexandrus (Sw.) Kuntze
Leersia abyssinica Hochst. ex A. Rich.
Leersia capensis C. Muell.
Oryza hexandra (Sw.) Doell.
Common names:
Status: Native
A perennial with long stout branched rhizomes, more rarely caespitose. Culms 40-85(-125) cm. tall, many-noded, simple or branched, erect or ascending from a geniculate base, often rooting at the lower nodes, sometimes floating, usually slender and weak but sometimes stout, striate, glabrous but densely and shortly hairy at the nodes. Leaf-sheaths finely striate, terete, the lowest often loose, the upper tight, usually shorter than the internodes, scaberulous or smooth, glabrous, auricled at the mouth. Ligule (0·9)1·5-2·5(-3·4) mm. long, usually asymmetric, obliquely truncate, sometimes lacerate. Leaf-laminae 7·5-18(-30) x (0·2)0·3-0·8(-1·6) cm., narrowly linear, tapering to a fine point, expanded or involute, glaucous to bright green, somewhat rigid, rarely flaccid, straight or curved, usually glabrous, scaberulous but usually very scabrous at the margins towards the base. Panicle 5-10(-15) cm. long, narrow, contracted to open, erect or somewhat nodding, often partly enclosed by the uppermost leaf-sheath; rhachis furrowed, scabrous; branches suberect or rarely spreading, filiform, flexuous, angular, scaberulous or smooth. Racemes 1-5 on each branch, with the 3-10 spikelets usually densely imbricate. Pedicels very short. Spikelets (3·2)3·4-4·8 (5·9) x 1·2-1·4(-1·7) mm., obliquely oblong to oblong-elliptic in lateral view, yellowish-green, often tinged with purple. Lemma as long as the spikelet, obliquely semi-elliptic to oblong, cartilaginous to chartaceous, keel and margins with a row of usually stout cilia which are straight or slightly curved, flanks slightly hispid or rarely glabrous, apex usually produced into a short blunt tip. Palea slightly shorter than the lemma but of the same consistency, with the keel ciliate, flanks hispid or rarely glabrous, apex usually subacute or rarely tapering to an acute point. Anthers 2-2·8(-3·2) mm. long, linear-oblong.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: hexandra: with 6 stamens
Habitat: In a variety of moist habitats.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Pantropical.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,C,Lk,S,W
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 353. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. (2002). A checklist of Zimbabwean grasses Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 16. Pretoria. Page 3.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 136.

Fish, L., Mashau, A.C., Moeaha, M.J. & Nembudani, M.T. (2015). Identification Guide to Southern African Grasses Strelitzia 36 South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria Page 408.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 496. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 46.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 26 - 28. (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 106.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 132.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 148 - 149. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 140.

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 190.

Van Oudtshoorn, F.P. (1992). Grasses of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Page 191. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Leersia hexandra:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Leersia hexandra
Flora of Caprivi: Leersia hexandra
Flora of Malawi: Leersia hexandra
Flora of Mozambique: Leersia hexandra
Flora of Zimbabwe: Leersia hexandra

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Leersia hexandra.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=103480, retrieved 3 December 2023

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