Melinis longiseta (A. Rich.) Zizka
subsp. bellespicata (Rendle) Zizka

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Synonyms: Melinis chaetophora Mez
Melinis secunda Mez
Rhynchelytrum bellespicatum (Rendle) Stapf & C.E. Hubb.
Tricholaena bellespicata Rendle
Common names:
Status: Native
Tufted to loosely caespitose perennial. Culms 20–100 cm. high, geniculately ascending or erect. Leaf laminae (3)6–20 cm. long, 1.5–5(6) mm. wide, flat. Panicle 4–17 cm. long, narrowly oblong to linear. Pedicels with a few long hairs. Spikelets (3.5)4–8.5 mm. long, usually linear. Inferior glume 0.6–1.4 mm. long, inconspicuously 1-nerved, ovate, separated from the superior by an internode 0.3–0.5 mm. long; superior glume 5-nerved, subcoriaceous to coriaceous, emarginate to bilobed, awned, densely hairy on the keel, glabrous on the sides. Inferior floret male, its lemma 5-nerved, similar to the superior glume but glabrous on the keel and hairy on the sides, the palea scabrous on its keels.
Type location:
Notes: Easily recognized by its 5-nerved superior glume and the scabrous palea keels of the inferior floret. The pattern of hairiness of superior glume and inferior lemma is also very characteristic. Leaf laminae (3)6–20 cm. long, 1.5–5(6) mm. wide. Spikelets (3.5)4–8.5 mm. long, usually linear.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Stony ground in open, sunny locations in Mopane woodland, often in crevices
Altitude range: 300 - 2100 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Mc
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 25.

Clayton, W.D. (1989). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(3) Pages 119 - 121.

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.

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.

Other sources of information about Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata
Flora of Caprivi: Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata
Flora of Malawi: Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata
Flora of Mozambique: Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata

External websites:

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

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: Melinis longiseta subsp. bellespicata., retrieved 4 March 2024

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