Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf

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Synonyms: Andropogon hirtus L.
Andropogon hirtus var. podotrichus (Hochst.) Hack.
Andropogon podotrichus Hochst.
Andropogon transvaalensis Stapf
Cymbopogon hirtus (L.) Thomson
Cymbopogon modicus De Wild.
Cymbopogon transvaalensis (Stapf) Burtt Davy
Hyparrhenia hirta var. podotricha (Hochst.) Pic. Serm.
Hyparrhenia modica (De Wild.) Robyns
Hyparrhenia podotricha (Hochst.) Andersson
Common names:
Status: Native
Caespitose perennial arising from short rhizomes; culms up to 60 cm high (up to 1 m in exceptionally robust specimens), wiry, standing above a dense leafy tussock 10–20 cm high. Leaf sheaths compressed and keeled, glabrous or rarely obscurely puberulous; leaf laminas 2–15(30) cm × 1–2(4) mm, narrowly linear to conduplicate and filiform, flexuous, glaucous, harshly scaberulous. False panicle up to 30 cm long, typically scanty with only 2–10 raceme-pairs but sometimes a little fuller with more raceme-pairs; spatheoles 3–8 cm long, linear-lanceolate, at length reddish; peduncles about as long as the spatheoles, glabrous or with white bulbous-based hairs above; racemes 2–4 cm long, 8–13(16)-awned per pair, white-villous, terminally exserted, never deflexed; raceme-bases unequal, the superior 2.5–5 mm long, filiform, glabrous or more usually pubescent to hirsute, with or without a white beard at the foot. Homogamous spikelets similar to the pedicelled, a single pair at the base of the inferior or both racemes. Sessile spikelets 4–6.5 mm long; callus 0.5–1.5 mm long, subacute to acute; inferior glume linear-elliptic, yellowish-green to violet, white-villous but occasionally the hairs rather sparse; awn 10–35 mm long, puberulous with white hairs 0.1–0.3 mm long. Pedicelled spikelets 3–7 mm long, narrowly lanceolate, white-villous, acute and muticous at the apex; callus absent; pedicel-tooth 0.2–1 mm long, subulate.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: hirta: hairy
Habitat: Growing mostly in upland dambos
Altitude range: 1200 - 1700 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Mediterranean region & NE tropical Africa, extending eastwards through Arabia and SW Asia to Pakistan. Also isolated records from Niger, Angola & FZ area. Reappearing in South Africa and probably introduced in Australia and Central America.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): C
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Aeropetes tulbaghia (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Cope, T.A. (2002). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(4) Pages 107 - 109. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 68.

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 105.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 95. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 138 - 139. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 139.

Other sources of information about Hyparrhenia hirta:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Hyparrhenia hirta
Flora of Zimbabwe: Hyparrhenia hirta

External websites:

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

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: Hyparrhenia hirta.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=108910, retrieved 23 April 2024

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