Hyparrhenia rufa (Nees) Stapf

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Synonyms: Andropogon altissimus Hochst. ex A. Braun
Andropogon bouangensis Franch.
Andropogon fulvicomus Hochst.
Andropogon fulvicomus var. approximatus Hochst.
Andropogon rufus (Nees) Kunth
Andropogon rufus var. glabrescens Chiov.
Andropogon xanthoblepharis Trin.
Cymbopogon rufus (Nees) Rendle
Cymbopogon rufus var. fulvicomus (Hochst.) Rendle
Cymbopogon rufus var. major Rendle
Hyparrhenia altissima Stapf
Hyparrhenia fulvicoma (Hochst.) Andersson
Hyparrhenia hirta var. brachypoda Chiov.
Hyparrhenia parvispiculata Bamps
Hyparrhenia rufus var. fulvicoma (Hochst.) Chiov.
Hyparrhenia rufus var. major (Rendle) Stapf
Trachypogon rufus Nees
Common names: Giant thatching grass (English) Yellow-spike thatching grass (English)
Status: Native
Caespitose perennial or sometimes annual; culms up to 250 cm high, erect. Leaf sheaths glabrous; leaf laminas 30–60 cm × 2–8 mm, rigid. False panicle 5–80 cm long, lax or contracted and fasciculate; spatheoles 3–5 cm long, linear-lanceolate, at length reddish and rolled about the peduncle; peduncles usually longer than the spatheoles by up to 2 cm or more, rarely shorter, glabrous or pilose above with spreading white hairs; racemes (1.5)2–2.5 cm long, (7)9–14-awned per pair, fulvously to rufously pilose or with the callus and lower part of the internode and pedicel white-hirsute, usually terminally exserted, not or very rarely deflexed; raceme-bases unequal, sometimes ± connate, the superior 2–3.5(4) mm long, terete, glabrous (very rarely with a few long hairs), the articulation with the peduncle tip glabrous. Homogamous spikelets similar to the pedicelled, a single pair at the base of the inferior raceme or both racemes. Sessile spikelets (3)3.5–4.5(5) mm long; callus 0.2–0.8 mm long, short and round to cuneate and narrowly truncate at the apex; inferior glume lanceolate, yellowish-brown to reddish-brown often tinged with violet, rarely green or glaucous, glabrous to pubescent but typically with a scanty covering of stiff rufous hairs, usually glossy; awn 2–3 cm long, the column rufously pubescent. Pedicelled spikelets 3–5 mm long, narrowly lanceolate, acute or rarely mucronate at the apex; callus absent; pedicel-tooth up to 0.3 mm long, triangular.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Growing in deciduous bushland and wooded grassland, usually preferring damper soils but also found on roadsides and in other disturbed areas
Altitude range: Up to 1520 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tropical and South Africa; introduced in tropical America and Australia
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 350.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 33. As Hyparrhenia rufa rufa

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 21. As Hyparrhenia rufa rufa

Cope, T.A. (2002). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(4) Pages 102 - 104. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 45.

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.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 140 - 141. (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 rufa:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Hyparrhenia rufa
Flora of Caprivi: Hyparrhenia rufa
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Hyparrhenia rufa
Flora of Malawi: Hyparrhenia rufa
Flora of Zambia: Hyparrhenia rufa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Hyparrhenia rufa

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Hyparrhenia rufa.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=108990, retrieved 22 June 2024

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