Sporobolus ioclados (Trin.) Nees

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Synonyms: Agrostis kentrophylla K. Schum.
Sporobolus arabicus Boiss.
Sporobolus genalensis Chiov.
Sporobolus gillii Stent
Sporobolus ioclados var. usitatus (Stent) Chippind.
Sporobolus kentrophyllus (K. Schum.) Clayton
Sporobolus marginatus A. Rich.
Sporobolus rangei Pilg.
Sporobolus seineri Mez
Sporobolus smutsii Stent
Sporobolus usitatus Stent
Sporobolus vryburgensis Stent
Vilfa ioclados Trin.
Vilfa marginata (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Steud.
Vilfa pallida Trin.
Common names:
Status: Native
Densely caespitose perennial, sometimes short-lived, often with stolons, sometimes with a short oblique rhizome; culms up to 100 cm tall, ascending to erect, usually branched; basal leaf sheaths chartaceous to subcoriaceous, glabrous on the back, pilose near the margins, compressed and flabellate, persistent; leaf laminas 1.5–30 cm × 2–8.5 mm, coarse, flat, folded or involute, glabrous or scaberulous on the surface, the margins cartilaginous, scabrid and sometimes ciliate with tubercle-based hairs.Panicle 5.5–25 cm long, narrowly ovate to pyramidal; branches, or at least the lowermost, in a succession of whorls but often the upper whorls somewhat irregular, scaberulous, eglandular or with linear glands, the spikelets on short secondary branchlets, these spreading or appressed, confined to the distal part of the primary branches.Spikelets 1.4–2.2 mm long, pallid to greyish-green or rarely purplish; inferior glume 1/4–1/2 the length of the spikelet, oblong to ovate (but widely variable even in the same panicle), nerveless, glabrous or minutely hispidulous, obtuse or denticulate to acute at the apex; superior glume (1/2)2/3 as long to as long as the spikelet, ovate, 1-nerved, glabrous or minutely hispidulous, acute at the apex; lemma as long as the spikelet or almost so, similar to the superior glume; anthers 3, 0.9–1.7 mm long.Grain 0.8–1.2 mm long, elliptic, somewhat laterally compressed.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Low altitude river valleys, on saline flats, pans and salt-marshes often in pure stands; mopane woodlands usually where there is impeded drainage caused by a shallow sodic layer; in floodplain and swampy grasslands, in riverside sand and clay alluvium
Altitude range: Up to 1370 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: tropical Africa to South Africa, and through Arabia to Iran, Pakistan and India
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Lk,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 52.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 34.

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 174 - 177.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 486. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 61. As Sporobolus marginatus

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 110.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 194 - 195. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 145.

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 Sporobolus ioclados:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sporobolus ioclados
Flora of Caprivi: Sporobolus ioclados
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Sporobolus ioclados
Flora of Malawi: Sporobolus ioclados
Flora of Mozambique: Sporobolus ioclados
Flora of Zimbabwe: Sporobolus ioclados

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Sporobolus ioclados.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=105480, retrieved 27 May 2024

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