Chloris virgata Sw.

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Chloris virgata

Photo: Petra Ballings
By main Harare to Bulawayo Rd, south of Kwekwe

Chloris virgata

Photo: Petra Ballings
By main Harare to Bulawayo Rd, south of Kwekwe

Chloris virgata

Photo: Petra Ballings
By main Harare to Bulawayo Rd, south of Kwekwe

Chloris virgata

Photo: Petra Ballings
By main Harare to Bulawayo Rd, south of Kwekwe

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Chloris brachystachys Andersson
Chloris elegans Kunth
Chloris virgata var. elegans (Kunth) Stapf
Common names:
Status: Native
Robust annual grass, up to 90 cm tall, sometimes rooting at the lower nodes. Leaves up to 24 cm long, flat or folded, tapering to a fine point. Inflorescence of 4-12 digitate racemes 4.5-10cm long. Spikelets 2-3-flowered, 2-awned; inferior glume 2–2.5 mm long; superior glume 3.2–3.6 mm long; floret callus rounded; fertile lemma 2.8–3.2 mm long, obliquely obovate and somewhat gibbous in profile, pallid or dark, ciliate on the margins, keel and flanks and with a subapical crown of hairs 1.5–4 mm long on each side, the awn 8–12 mm long; 2nd lemma oblong, 2–2.5 mm long, glabrous, with an awn 6–9 mm long; 3rd lemma (when present) an awnless clavate scale 0.5–1.2 mm long.
Derivation of specific name: virgata: twiggy
Habitat: A common weedy species of disturbed ground.
Altitude range: 10 - 1680 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread throughout the tropics
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS,GI,M
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 8.

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 212 - 213.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 131.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 447. (Includes a picture).

Isaiah, A.M. & Komi, T. (2015). Grasses in the Botswana National Botanic Garden South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria Page 9. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 33.

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 101.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 127.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 68 - 69. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 133.

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.

Van Oudtshoorn, F.P. (1992). Grasses of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Page 231. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Chloris virgata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Chloris virgata
Flora of Caprivi: Chloris virgata
Flora of Malawi: Chloris virgata
Flora of Zambia: Chloris virgata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Chloris virgata

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Chloris virgata
African Plant Database: Chloris virgata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Chloris virgata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Chloris virgata
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Chloris virgata
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Chloris virgata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Chloris virgata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Chloris virgata
iNaturalist: Chloris virgata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Chloris virgata
JSTOR Plant Science: Chloris virgata
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Chloris virgata
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Chloris virgata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Chloris virgata
Plants of the World Online: Chloris virgata
Tropicos: Chloris virgata
Wikipedia: Chloris virgata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Chloris virgata., retrieved 27 March 2023

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