Themeda triandra Forssk.

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Themeda triandra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

Themeda triandra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park NR

Themeda triandra

Photo: Bart Wursten
Small Bridge Dam

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Synonyms: Anthistiria australis R. Br.
Anthistiria forsskalii Kunth
Anthistiria imberbis Retz.
Anthistiria punctata Hochst. ex A. Rich.
Themeda australis (R. Br.) Stapf
Themeda forsskalii Hack.
Themeda forsskalii var. burchellii Hack.
Themeda forsskalii var. glauca Hack.
Themeda imberbis (Retz.) T. Cooke
Themeda polygama J.F. Gmel.
Themeda triandra Forssk. var. imberbis (Retz.) Hack.
Themeda triandra var. burchellii (Hack.) Domin
Themeda triandra var. hispida Stapf
Themeda triandra var. punctata (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Stapf
Themeda triandra var. sublaevigata Chiov.
Themeda triandra var. trachyspathea Gooss.
Common names: Red grass (English) Red oat grass (English)
Status: Native
A variable tufted perennial, up to 1.5 m, erect. Leaf laminas up to, or exceeding, 30 cm × 1–8 mm, flat. Inflorescence a false panicle consisting of wedge-shaped, pendent clusters of spikelet racemes, enfolded by a long spathe; spatheole 1.5–3.5 cm long, russet-coloured, glabrous to tuberculate-pilose; raceme containing 1 fertile spikelet. Homogamous spikelet pairs arising at about the same level, the internode barely perceptible; inferior glume 6–14 mm long, narrowly elliptic, glabrous to tuberculate-pilose. Sessile spikelet 6–11 mm long (including the pungent rufously barbate callus 2–4 mm long); inferior glume brown, smooth except for the appressed-pubescent apex; awn 2.5–7 cm long, puberulous. Pedicelled spikelet 6–14 mm long, glabrous or tuberculate-pilose; callus 2–3 mm long.
Derivation of specific name: triandra: with 3 anthers or stamens
Habitat: In a variety of habitats, common in grassland and open woodland, along rivers and in dambos, particularly on sandy and alluvial soils; often as a dominant species.
Flowering time:Oct - Jul
Worldwide distribution: Troughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Botswana distribution: N,SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Sunday 29 March 2015

Bennett, K.E. (1980). Keys to Zimbabwean grass species. Kirkia 11(2) Page 185.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 365. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 55.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 35.

Cope, T.A. (2002). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(4) Pages 148 - 150. (Includes a picture).

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 24 - 25. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 62. As Themeda triandra hispida and T. triandra punctata

Lightfoot, C. (1975). Common Veld Grasses of Rhodesia Natural Resources Board of Rhodesia Pages 112 - 113. (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 111.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 136.

Roodt, V. (2011). Wild flowers, Waterplants and Grasses of the Okavango Delta and Kalahari "Did You Know" nature series Struik Nature for Veronica Roodt Publications Page 118. (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 210 - 211. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 146.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 28.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 153.

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 192.

Van Oudtshoorn, F.P. (1992). Grasses of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Page 50. (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Page 331. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 86.

Other sources of information about Themeda triandra:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Themeda triandra
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Themeda triandra
Flora of Malawi: Themeda triandra
Flora of Mozambique: Themeda triandra
Flora of Zambia: Themeda triandra
Flora of Zimbabwe: Themeda triandra

External websites:

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

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: Themeda triandra., retrieved 23 July 2024

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