Melinis ambigua Hack.
subsp. ambigua

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Common names:
Caespitose or rarely tufted perennial. Culms (30)60–120(150) cm. high, erect or rarely geniculately ascending. Leaf laminae usually flat, (3.5)5–20(23) cm. long, 3–8(11) mm. wide. Panicle 9–25 cm. long, narrowly ovate. Pedicels with a few long hairs. Spikelets (2)2.4–3(3.4) mm. long, narrowly ovate. Inferior glume 0.4–1 mm. long, ovate, 0–1-nerved, inserted close to the superior; superior glume 7-nerved, usually hairy, emarginate to bilobed with an awn (0.1)0.8–4.5 mm. long. Inferior floret barren, its lemma 5-nerved with an awn (0.3)2–12 mm. long, equalling the superior glume; palea absent or when present scabrous on its keels.
Type location:
Notes: Leaf laminae usually flat, (3.5)5–20(23) cm. long, 3–8(11) mm. wide. Spikelets (2)2.4–3(3.4) mm. long. Inferior glume 0.4–1 mm. long; superior glume with an awn (0.1)0.8–4.5 mm. long. Inferior floret barren, its lemma with an awn (0.3)2–12 mm. long.
Derivation of specific name: ambigua: doubtful, of uncertain relationship
Habitat: Sandy or stony soils in open Brachystegia woodland or grassland at higher elevations, often at anthropogenic sites and streamsides
Altitude range: 1000 - 2500 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,C
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. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 38.

Clayton, W.D. (1989). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(3) Pages 121 - 122. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 48. As Melinis ambigua and as M. eylesii

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.

Other sources of information about Melinis ambigua subsp. ambigua:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Melinis ambigua subsp. ambigua
Flora of Mozambique: Melinis ambigua subsp. ambigua
Flora of Zimbabwe: Melinis ambigua subsp. ambigua

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Melinis ambigua
African Plant Database: Melinis ambigua
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Melinis ambigua
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Melinis ambigua
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Melinis ambigua
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Melinis ambigua
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Melinis ambigua
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Melinis ambigua
iNaturalist: Melinis ambigua
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Melinis ambigua
JSTOR Plant Science: Melinis ambigua
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Melinis ambigua
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Melinis ambigua
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Melinis ambigua
Plants of the World Online: Melinis ambigua
Tropicos: Melinis ambigua
Wikipedia: Melinis ambigua

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: Melinis ambigua subsp. ambigua., retrieved 28 January 2023

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