Plants of the Castlemaine district
Feathertop Rhodes-grass - introduced? (*Chloris virgata)
Native to tropical America and Asia. Annual. C4.
Family. Poaceae (Grass family).
Uncommon, but may be locally abundant.
- the grass grows to about a metre high
- the fresh flowers on erect radiating arms which become somewhat spreading with age
- the 1st glume much shorter than the lemmas
- each spikelet has a lower fertile lemma and an upper sterile lemma
- both lemmas have a slender terminal awn, and the lower fertile lemma has a tuft of silky hairs at its summit; these give the flower clusters a hairy appearance
- the leaves are flat or folded
- the ligule is fringed or hairless.
There are few Victorian records for this grass, most of which are from near the Murray River in north-west Victoria.
Chloris: green, referring to the colour of the leaves and flowers of some species. virgata: composed of willowy twigs.
1: The radiating arms are clustered together and held vertically. 2: Stand of Feathertop Rhodes-grass at Castlemaine, 2010. 3: Lemmas. The upper lemma in the photo is the lower fertile lemma. It has a tuft of silky hairs. 4: The sterile lemma is squared off.
Some authorities consider that Feathertop Rhodes-grass may be a native (as well as native to other countries). The Castlemaine population is almost certainly introduced. It is usually close to a railway line or truck route.
Windmill Grass (Chloris tructata)