1. Family: Poaceae Barnhart
    1. Genus: Aristida L.
      1. Aristida junciformis Trin. & Rupr.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Nigeria to Kenya and S. Africa, Madagascar.

    [FZ]

    Gramineae, E. Launert. Flora Zambesiaca 10:1. 1971

    Habit
    Perennial, up to 60 cm. high, densely caespitose, with old dark leaf-sheaths at the base and with thick spongy roots.
    Culms
    Culms erect, slender, wiry, simple or slightly branched, glabrous, smooth, 3-4-noded; nodes glabrous, smooth.
    Leaf sheaths
    Leaf-sheaths tight, the lower keeled, striate, glabrous, smooth or scabrous, sometimes with long flexuous hairs.
    Ligules
    Ligule a short-ciliolate rim; auricles pubescent or more or less barbate, especially those of the lower sheaths.
    Leaf lamina
    Leaf-laminae up to 30 x 0·1 cm. when expanded, subsetaceous, convolute, mostly strictly erect, sometimes slightly curved, scaberulous or hirtellous above, glabrous smooth beneath.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle 5-20 x 1-8 cm., narrow, contracted or fairly lax, erect or somewhat nodding, with a more or less angular, scaberulous axis; branches up to 5 cm. long, usually 2-nate, erect, scaberulous, subfascicled, capillary, often naked in the lower part, with spikelets congested towards the ends.
    Glume
    Glumes linear-lanceolate, unequal, thin, acute or acuminate or awned, 1-nerved (the inferior sometimes with 2 additional nerves in the lower part), glabrous or minutely pubescent.
    Lemma
    Lemma c. 6 mm. long, glabrous, smooth or scaberulous towards the apex; callus c. 0.5 mm. long, shortly barbate; awns very fine, suberect, more or less spreading; articulation absent.
    Cytology
    2n = 44.
    Note
    A very variable sp. consisting of several subspp., of which subsp. macilenta and subsp. welwitschii occur in the F.Z. area. The subsp. junciforrmis, according to Henrard, is distributed in Natal and the Orange Free State. De Winter has recorded A. junciformis also from the Cape Prov., SW. Africa and the Transvaal. As he has treated this sp. in a wider sense, also referring to it forms having a well-developed column of the lemma, the distribution of A. junciformis, given by him, is in need of a revision. The subsp. junciformis, which has not yet been recorded from the F.Z. area, is characterized by having internodes of the culms of more or less equal length, being strongly compressed especially below, by very rigid, convolute, mostly strictly erect leaf-laminae, by inferior glume 6-7 mm. long, by a superior glume 9-10 mm. long and by a beakless or nearly beakless lemma with somewhat unequal awns (the central 20-35 mm. long, the lateral ones 15-28 mm. long). Both the other subspp. have terete or only slightly compressed internodes of the culms below the nodes bearing branches. Their leaf-laminae are sometimes flat or folded at the base and less rigid than in subsp. junciformis.
    [GB]
    Habit
    Perennial; caespitose. Roots simple (spongy). Rhizomes absent, or short. Culms 20-60 cm long. Culm-internodes elliptical in section (below nodes); distally glabrous. Leaf-sheath oral hairs lacking, or bearded. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades straight, or curled; involute; 10-30 cm long; 1-1.5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface glabrous, or pubescent; hairy adaxially.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle open; lanceolate; interrupted; dense; 5-20 cm long; contracted about primary branches. Panicle branches glabrous in axils. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; 6-9 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Floret callus evident; 0.3-0.5 mm long; bearded; obtuse.
    Fertile
    Spikelets comprising 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; 6-9 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Floret callus evident; 0.3-0.5 mm long; bearded; obtuse.
    Glume
    Glumes persistent; similar; exceeding apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate; 4-7 mm long; 0.6-0.9 length of upper glume; membranous; 1-keeled; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface asperulous. Lower glume apex acuminate; muticous, or mucronate, or awned; 1 -awned. Lower glume awn 0-2 mm long. Upper glume lanceolate; 6-9 mm long; 1.2-1.5 length of adjacent fertile lemma; membranous; 1-keeled; 1 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume apex dentate; 2 -fid; muticous, or mucronate, or awned; 1 -awned. Upper glume awn 0-2 mm long.
    Florets
    Fertile lemma elliptic; subterete; 5-6 mm long; coriaceous; without keel; 3 -veined. Lemma surface scaberulous. Lemma margins convolute; covering most of palea. Lemma apex acute; awned; 3 -awned. Principal lemma awn 3-branched; with 8-23 mm long limb; with a straight or slightly twisted column; persistent. Column of lemma awn 1-3(-6) mm long. Lateral lemma awns 7-17 mm long; subequal to principal. Palea 0.2 length of lemma; without keels.
    Flowers
    Anthers 3.
    Distribution
    Africa: west tropical, west-central tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, south, and western Indian ocean.
    Reference
    Aristideae. FTEA.
    [FWTA]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:2. 1972

    Habit
    Tufted perennial 30–60 cm. high
    Ecology
    Poor stony soils.
    [FTEA]

    Gramineae, W. D. Clayton, S. M. Phillips & S. A. Renvoize. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1974

    Habit
    Densely caespitose perennial 20–60 cm. high, with thick spongy roots and a tendency to form short rhizomes; culms glabrous, ± compressed below the nodes.
    Leaves
    Leaf-blades involute, up to 30 cm. long and 1.5 mm. wide, glabrous to pubescent above or sometimes hirsute around the collar, the lower sometimes relaxing, flattening and curling with age, not forming a dense fibrous tuft.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle 5–20 cm. long, narrow, ± interrupted, the spikelets clustered about the short primary branches whose axils are glabrous.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets enclosed by narrowly lanceolate, often purplish, glumes; lower glume 4–7 mm. long, two-thirds as long as the upper (rarely almost as long), scaberulous, with or without an awn-point up to 2 mm. long; upper glume 6–9 mm. long, glabrous, minutely bidentate, with or without a mucro up to 2 mm. long; lemma terete, 5–6 mm. long, scaberulous; callus oblong, 0.3–0.5 mm. long, broadly obtuse, bearded along the sides; awn with (rarely without) a slightly twisted column 1–3(–6) mm. long, not articulated, the central limb 8–23 mm. long, the laterals 7–17 mm.
    Habitat
    Poor stony soils on hilltops; 400–2100 m.
    Distribution
    southwards to the Cape K3 K4 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8
    [FZ]

    Gramineae, E. Launert. Flora Zambesiaca 10:1. 1971

    Habit
    Perennial, c. 50 cm, high, densely caespitose.
    Culms
    Culms erect, slender, simple or branched from some of the lower nodes, glabrous, smooth or sometimes slightly minutely pubescent below the nodes, 4-6-noded; nodes glabrous, smooth.
    Leaf sheaths
    Leaf-sheaths usually longer than the internodes of the culm, striate, usually tight, the lower more or less densely hirsute, with spreading or flexuous hairs from minute tubercles, the upper glabrous, smooth.
    Ligules
    Ligule a very short, ciliolate rim; auricles shortly pubescent or becoming glabrous, sometimes with long hairs; collar minutely pubescent.
    Leaf lamina
    Leaf-laminae up to 25 x 0·1-0·15 cm. (when expanded), convolute, ending in a fine point but not pungent, sometimes more or less flat towards the base, with prominent marginal nerves, scaberulous or hirtellous (with scattered long hairs from minute tubercles) above, scaberulous or smooth beneath.
    Inflorescences
    Panicle mostly 10-15 cm. long, sometimes up to 20 cm., somewhat contracted but not dense, usually spiciform with a minutely scaberulous axis. Branches 3-7 cm. long, 2-nate or simple, erect or suberect, naked in the lower part, or with spikelets from the base, few-flowered.
    Spikelets
    Spikelets usually purple, sometimes greenish tinged with purple.
    Glume
    Glumes subequal, keeled, glabrous or minutely scaberulous, more or less gradually tapering into a short awn up to 2 mm. long; the inferior 4-7 mm. long, 1-nerved or indistinctly 3-nerved, the superior 5-8 mm. long, 1-nerved, usually smooth.
    Lemma
    Lemma c. 5 mm. long, minutely scaberulous towards the apex; callus 0·3-0·5 mm. long, obtuse, densely short-barbate; column 1-2 mm. long, twisted, scaberulous; awns subequal, 13-15 mm. long, delicate, slightly minutely scaberulous, somewhat spreading; articulation absent.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Botswana, Cape Provinces, Congo, Free State, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Common Names

    English
    Bristle grass, Gongoni three-awn, Wire grass

    Aristida junciformis Trin. & Rupr. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jun 1, 1937 Schlechter [7509], South Africa K000366733
    Jun 1, 1937 Baur, R. [1115], South Africa K000366729
    Jun 1, 1937 Rehmann [2587], South Africa K000366731
    Jun 1, 1937 Rehmann [2667], South Africa K000366732
    Eyles, F. [1598], Zimbabwe K000366812 isotype
    Eyles, F. [2142], Zimbabwe K000366813 syntype
    Stolz, A. [2103], Tanzania K000366786
    Bidgood, S. [5632], Tanzania K000468792
    Bidgood, S. [5616], Tanzania K000468808
    Welwitsch [7255], Angola K000366815
    Welwitsch [7235], Angola K000366816
    Welwitsch [7235], Angola K000366882
    Rehmann, A. [2582], South Africa K000366728 lectotype
    Wolley-Dod, A.H. [2387], South Africa K000366727 lectotype
    Schlieben, H. J. [2317], Tanzania K000366787
    Schlieben, H. J. [2317], Tanzania K000366788
    Rehmann [5112], South Africa K000366730
    Pardy, A. A. [3756], Zimbabwe K000366814
    Galpin, E.E. [6900], South Africa Aristida galpinii K000366734 Unknown type material

    First published in Sp. Gram. Stipac.: 143 (1842)

    Accepted by

    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T. & Williamson, H. (2006). World Grass Species - Synonymy database The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Hepper, F.N. (ed.) (1972). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3(2): 277-574.
    • Launert, E. (1971). Flora Zambesiaca 10(1): 1-152. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Clayton, W.D. (1970). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 1: 1-176.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Sp. Gram. Stip. 143 (1842).
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T. & Williamson, H. (2006). World Grass Species - Synonymy database The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
    • Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Hepper, F.N. (ed.) (1972). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3(2): 277-574.
    • Launert, E. (1971). Flora Zambesiaca 10(1): 1-152. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Clayton, W.D. (1970). Gramineae Flora of Tropical East Africa 1: 1-176.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Trin. & Rupr., Sp. Gram. Stip.: 143 (1842).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Plants and People Africa
    Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/