Sporobolus stapfianus Gand.

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Sporobolus stapfianus

Protea Hill Farm
Dec 2012
Photo: Mike Bingham

Sporobolus stapfianus

Protea Hill Farm
Dec 2012
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Sporobolus festivus var. stuppeus Stapf
Sporobolus stuppeus (Stapf) Stent
Common names:
Frequency: Widespread
Status: Native
Densely caespitose perennial without rhizomes or stolons; culms up to 40(55) cm tall, erect, unbranched; basal leaf sheaths chartaceous, tomentose on the margins with curly yellow or brown hairs, terete, decaying with age into a compact mass of fine fibres, the woolly hairs retained within; leaf laminas 3–15 cm long, involute-filiform, smooth or scaberulous on the surface, scabrid on the margins. Panicle 3–15 cm long, ovate and diffuse or rarely linear and somewhat condensed; primary branches not in whorls, capillary, tinged with red, smooth or scaberulous, eglandular, the spikelets evenly distributed. Spikelets (1.2)1.4–2.1 mm long, greyish-green or sometimes dark greenish-purple or olive; inferior glume 1/3–2/3 the length of the spikelet, narrowly ovate to oblong, nerveless, glabrous or minutely hispidulous, acute to acuminate or obtuse-denticulate at the apex; superior glume 1/2–2/3(4/5) the length of the spikelet, narrowly ovate, 1-nerved, glabrous or minutely hispidulous, acute at the apex; lemma as long as the spikelet, narrowly ovate, acute; anthers 3, 0.8–1.2 mm long. Grain 0.5–0.7 mm long, obovate, truncate. Early-flowering (December)
Type location:
South Africa
Notes: An early flowering species taking advantage of full sunlight before being shaded by the taller species.
Derivation of specific name: stapfiana: after Dr. Otto Stapf (1857-1933), Austrian-born British botanist, taxonomist and author of many plant taxa. He was Curator at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Society.
Habitat: Often in shallow soil over rock; also in miombo and mixed deciduous woodland in bare ground, often associated with Microchloa kunthii.
Altitude range: 100 - 1700 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Tropical Africa and South Africa; also Madagascar and Yemen.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N,Lk,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 3 January 2017

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 365.

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) Page 191.

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 62.

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.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 146.

Other sources of information about Sporobolus stapfianus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Sporobolus stapfianus
Flora of Caprivi: Sporobolus stapfianus
Flora of Malawi: Sporobolus stapfianus
Flora of Mozambique: Sporobolus stapfianus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Sporobolus stapfianus

External websites:

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

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: Sporobolus stapfianus.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=105600, retrieved 25 September 2023

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