Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Monocotyledon Literature for Sporobolus africanus
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999; Lorence & Wagner 2019..
   Poaceae -- The Grass Family Bibliography
      Sporobolus africanus

Common name(s): dropseed, African dropseed, rattail grass, smutgrass
General Information
DistributionNative to Africa, widely naturalized in many regions.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Kaho`olawe, Hawai`i.















Habit
Perennial; culms sparsely to densely tufted, wiry, 3‒10 dm tall.
Leaves
Leaves with sheath 4‒12 cm long, compressed, pilose at throat and along margin, but otherwise glabrous; ligule ciliate, less than 0.2 mm long; blade flat to weakly involute, 10‒25 cm long, 2‒5 mm wide at base, glabrous, apex attenuate.
Flowers
Inflorescences a panicle, 15‒25 cm long, erect, spikelike, sometimes interrupted at base, branches short, closely appressed. Spikelets (1.5‒)2‒2.8 mm long, glabrous; first glume oblong, 0.4‒0.7 mm long, apex obtuse, second glume ovate, 1‒1.5 mm long, apex acute; lemma oblong to lanceolate, ca. 2 mm long, faintly 3-veined, hyaline, apex obtuse to acute; palea as long as lemma; stamens 3.
Fruit
Caryopses dark red, obovate, 1.2‒1.5 mm long, apex obtuse to truncate, readily separating from the spikelet, but often adhering to the panicle for some time after maturity by the mucilaginous pericarp.
Chromosomes
2n = 18, 36
Notes
First collected around Toovii, Nuku Hiva in July 2004 (L’Helguen 016).
Contributor
Nancy Khan