Setaria megaphylla (Steud.) T. Durand & Schinz

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Setaria megaphylla

Common in miombo woodland on steep gorge slope;
Kalambo Falls; Dec 2006.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Setaria megaphylla

Lusaka SE 13km; Jan 2014.
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Panicum megaphyllum Steud.
Panicum oligochaete (K. Schum.) Kneucker
Panicum plicatile Hochst.
Setaria chevalieri Stapf
Setaria insignis de Wit
Setaria macrophylla Anderss.
Setaria megaphylla var. chevalieri (Stapf) Berhaut
Setaria natalensis de Wit
Setaria oligochaete K. Schum.
Setaria phillipsii de Wit
Setaria plicatilis (Hochst.) Engl.
Common names:
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Native, occasionally cultivated
Robust perennial tufted grass, often forming large clumps. Culms 0.5–3 m. high and 2–10 mm. in diam. at the base. Leaf laminae 5–110 mm. wide, broadly linear to narrowly lanceolate, leaves pleated, long and broad. Inflorescence an open panicle. Panicle 10–60 cm. long, linear to lanceolate, the branches short (occasionally the lowest long and flexuous) and ascending close to the rhachis or projecting laterally like a pagoda; bristles 3–15 mm. long. Spikelets 2.2–3(3.5) mm. long, narrowly ovate to elliptic, acute. Inferior glume 1/3–1/2, the superior 1/2–3/4 length of spikelet. Inferior lemma firmly membranous, as long as the superior. Superior lemma usually smooth and often shining, sometimes rugose below, rarely rugose throughout, becoming light brown. Most parts, particularly the lower culms, densely covered in irritating hairs.
Type location:
Notes: Zambia flowering time: Jan – Feb
Derivation of specific name: megaphylla: large-leaved
Habitat: Forest, shady places
Altitude range: Up to 1800 m
Flowering time:Sep - Jun
Worldwide distribution: Tropical Africa to South Africa, tropical America and India.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N,C,Lk,S
Growth form(s): Annual.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Melanitis leda helena (Food plant)
Borbo fatuellus fatuellus (Larval foodplant)
Gnophodes betsimena diversa (Larval foodplant)
Metisella metis paris (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 10 July 2014

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 361.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 51.

Clayton, W.D. (1989). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(3) Page 109.

Fanshawe, D.B. (1968). The vegetation of Zambian termitaria. Kirkia 6(2) Pages 169 - 179.

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

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 59. As Setaria plicatilis

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 68.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 84.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 28.

Smith, P.P. (1997). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of the North Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Kirkia 16(2): Pages 205 - 245.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 152.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 86.

Other sources of information about Setaria megaphylla:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Setaria megaphylla
Flora of Mozambique: Setaria megaphylla
Flora of Zimbabwe: Setaria megaphylla
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Setaria megaphylla

External websites:

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

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: Setaria megaphylla., retrieved 18 July 2024

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