Aristida meridionalis Henrard

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Synonyms: Aristida stipoides var. meridionalis Stapf
Common names: Coppery three-awn (English) Ririsatau (Setswana)
Status: Native
Perennial, up to 2 m. high, very robust, densely caespitose. Culms erect, simple or slightly branched, glabrous, 2-3-noded; nodes often dark-coloured, glabrous. Lower leaf-sheath glabrous or woolly, afterwards becoming glabrous, the upper ones glabrous, smooth, somewhat loose. Ligule a short-citiate rim; auricles barbate, with a tuft of woolly hairs; collar glabrous. Leaf-laminae up to 50 x 0·5 cm., involute, scabrous above, glabrous, smooth beneath. Panicle up to 80 cm. long and over 20 cm. wide, effuse, very lax, often nodding, many-flowered, with smooth axis; branches 2-3-nate with filiform branchlets. Spikelets yellowish, yellowish-brown or tinged with purple. Glumes unequal, 1-nerved, glabrous; the inferior 5-7 mm. long, obtuse or emarginate, slightly ciliate upwards along the margins; the superior 10-15 mm. long, 2-fid at the apex. Lemma 7-9 mm. long, mottled with purple, smooth or slightly punctulate in the lower part, scaberulous towards the tip; callus 1·5-2 mm. long, barbate, distinctly 2-fid; column 5-20 mm. long, slender, strongly twisted, scabrous or nearly glabrous; awns up to 5 cm. long, subequal; articulation between the apex of the lemma and the base of the column. 2n = 22.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Mainly on sandy soils in open situations, in open woodland, scrub, vlei, on edges of waterlogged depressions, on sand dunes (Kamba Bay, Lake Tanganyika)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Caprivi Strip, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Botswana distribution: N,SW,SE
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 4.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 465. (Includes a picture).

Klaassen Esmerialda, E.S. & Craven P. (2003). Checklist of grasses in Namibia SABONET Report No. 20 Page 12.

Launert, E. (1971). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(1) Pages 120 - 121. (Includes a picture).

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 100.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 42 - 43. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 131.

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 187.

Other sources of information about Aristida meridionalis:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Aristida meridionalis
Flora of Mozambique: Aristida meridionalis
Flora of Zambia: Aristida meridionalis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Aristida meridionalis

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Aristida meridionalis., retrieved 25 June 2024

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