Eragrostis venustula Launert ex Cope

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Synonyms: Eragrostis vacillans sensu B.K. Simon
Common names:
Loosely caespitose annual; culms up to 35 cm tall, erect or ascending, branched or unbranched, glabrous at the nodes, often with a ring of coalescent elongated glands below the nodes and with or without glandular pits scattered along the internodes; lower sheaths pilose with tubercle-based hairs, the uppermost glabrous and with a line of glandular pits along the midnerve, sometimes elsewhere as well; ligule a line of hairs; leaf laminas 2–8 cm × 1–3.5 mm, linear-lanceolate, flat, pilose with tubercle-based hairs, eglandular.Panicle 4–14 cm long, oblong-elliptic, loose and open, the spikelets evenly distributed on stiffly diverging branches (and sometimes branchlets), and somewhat pendulous on stiff but slender pedicels 3–5.5 mm long, these with a glandular swelling at about the midpoint, the primary branches not in whorls, terminating in a fertile spikelet, glabrous in the axils, eglandular.Spikelets 2–3.5 × 1.2–1.8 mm long, oblong-ovate, lightly laterally compressed, 5–16-flowered, the lemmas disarticulating from below upwards, the rhachilla persistent, especially below, sometimes fragile above; glumes unequal, the inferior 0.4–0.6 mm long, reaching to just beyond the middle of the adjacent lemma, scarcely keeled, narrowly lanceolate-oblong, glabrous, acute at the apex, the superior 0.9–1.1 mm long, reaching to about 3/4 the way along the adjacent lemma, lightly keeled, narrowly oblong-elliptic in profile, scabrid on the keel, thinly pilose on the flanks, subacute at the apex; lemmas 1–1.3 mm long, lightly keeled, oblong-elliptic or elliptic in profile, membranous with prominent lateral nerves, diverging from the rhachilla at c. 45°, those in opposite rows not imbricate, the rhachilla visible between them, pallid with purple tips or flushed with purple throughout, pilose on either side of the lateral nerves with tubercle-based hairs, otherwise asperulous, obtuse at the apex; palea persistent, glabrous on the flanks, the keels slender, wingless, scaberulous; anthers 3, 0.15–0.3(0.5) mm long.Caryopsis 0.4–0.5 mm long, subrotund with somewhat flattened sides.
Derivation of specific name: venustula: quite charming
Habitat: Apparently restricted to Kalahari Sand, in short grassland and forest shade
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 134 - 135. (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 104.

Poilecot, P. (2007). Eragrostis species of Zimbabwe Éditions Quae,Versailles, France Pages 182 - 183. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Eragrostis venustula:

Our websites:

Flora of Zambia: Eragrostis venustula
Flora of Zimbabwe: Eragrostis venustula

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Caprivi: Species information: Eragrostis venustula., retrieved 2 February 2023

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