Sporobolus ioclados (Nees ex Trin.) Nees
  • Fl. Afr. Austral. Ill.: 161 (1841) 

Notes: Distribution: Africa to Indian Subcontinent

General Description

perennial; rhizome oblique, densely beset with barren shoots and the basal portions of dead shoots; culms geniculate-ascending, 1–1 1/2 ft. long, glabrous, smooth, 2-noded; lower sheaths broad, firm, pallid, glabrous, smooth; ligule a ciliolate rim; blades linear, tapering to a long fine point, 3–6 in. by 1 1/2 lin. (when expanded), flat or setaceously convolute, subglaucous, glabrous, smooth below, scaberulous above; panicle erect, ovate, 4–6 in. by 2–3 in., very lax; lower branches in whorls of 7–4, the upper whorled or scattered, ultimately spreading, remotely branched, up to 2 in. long, filiform to capillary, straight or flexuous, smooth; lateral pedicels extremely short; Spikelets dark olive-grey, oblong-lanceolate, 5/8– 7/8 lin. long; Glumes very unequal, the lower hyaline, oblong, obtuse or subobtuse, equalling 1/3 of the spikelet or less, the upper equalling the valve or very slightly longer, oblong, acute or subacute in profile, 1-nerved; valve very like the upper glume; pale slightly shorter; stamens 3; anthers 1/2 lin. long; grain obovoid, truncate, obtusely quadrangular, slightly compressed, 1/2 lin. long; pericarp thin.

Densely caespitose perennial, sometimes short-lived, often with stolons, sometimes with a short oblique rhizome; culms up to 100 cm tall, ascending to erect, usually branched; basal leaf sheaths chartaceous to subcoriaceous, glabrous on the back, pilose near the margins, compressed and flabellate, persistent; leaf laminas 1.5–30 cm × 2–8.5 mm, coarse, flat, folded or involute, glabrous or scaberulous on the surface, the margins cartilaginous, scabrid and sometimes ciliate with tubercle-based hairs.Panicle 5.5–25 cm long, narrowly ovate to pyramidal; branches, or at least the lowermost, in a succession of whorls but often the upper whorls somewhat irregular, scaberulous, eglandular or with linear glands, the spikelets on short secondary branchlets, these spreading or appressed, confined to the distal part of the primary branches.Spikelets 1.4–2.2 mm long, pallid to greyish-green or rarely purplish; inferior glume 1/4–1/2 the length of the spikelet, oblong to ovate (but widely variable even in the same panicle), nerveless, glabrous or minutely hispidulous, obtuse or denticulate to acute at the apex; superior glume (1/2)2/3 as long to as long as the spikelet, ovate, 1-nerved, glabrous or minutely hispidulous, acute at the apex; lemma as long as the spikelet or almost so, similar to the superior glume; anthers 3, 0.9–1.7 mm long.Grain 0.8–1.2 mm long, elliptic, somewhat laterally compressed.

Caespitose perennial, sometimes short-lived, often spreading by means of stolons; culms 15–60 cm. high. Leaf-blades flat, 2–30 cm. long, 2–5 mm. wide, the margin ± cartilaginous and usually bearing stiff hairs; sheaths of the vegetative shoots often keeled and flabellately interleaved to form compact fascicles. Panicle ± pyramidal, usually spreading, 3–20 cm. long; primary branches in 4–8 whorls, with side branches 3–15 mm. long from the upper 2/3–3/4, sometimes reddish. Spikelets 1.5–2.2 mm. long, smooth or scaberulous, grey-green to pallid, rarely purplish; lower glume oblong, 0.2–0.8 mm. long, 1/4–1/3 as long as the upper, obtuse; upper glume oblong-elliptic, as long as the spikelet; lemma similar to the upper glume; anthers 3, 0.7–1 mm. long. Grain ellipsoid, 0.6–1 mm. long.

Caespitose perennial 30–60 cm. high; seasonally moist, usually alkaline, soils in dry regions.

Perennial, up to 1 m tall; mat-forming with stolons, sometimes rhizomes present. Leaves linear; ligule a fringe of hairs. Inflorescence an open panicle, lowest branches whorled. Spikelets 1.5-2.5 mm long, awnless, glabrous, 1-flowered; glumes unequal, the


habit: herb


HAB. Dry clayey soils, seasonally moist soils and hardpans in deciduous bushland, sometimes on saline soils; sea-level to 2000 m.

Saline flats, pans and floodplains.

; seasonally moist, usually alkaline, soils in dry regions.

Usually in low altitude river valleys, on saline flats, pans and salt-marshes often in pure stands, and in mopane woodlands usually where there is impeded drainage caused by a shallow sodic layer; also in floodplain and swampy grasslands, in riverside sand and clay alluvium


Zambia Gwembe Distr., Zambezi R., c. 3 km upstream from Chirundu Bridge, 1.ii.1958, Drummond 5424 (K; LISC).

Uganda R. Apule, 29 Oct. 1939, A. S. Thomas 3096 !

Tanzania 16 km. from Seronera on the Nyaraswiga-Banagi Hill Circuit, 22 May 1962, Greenway 10652 !

Uganda Kyoga [Kioja], near Muntu, 13 Dec. 1957, Langdale-Brown 2427 !

Zambia Kwando riverbank, 3.xii.1962, Fanshawe 7115 (SRGH).

Tanzania 11 km. NE. of Old Shinyanga, 17 Mar. 1951, Welch 63 !

Uganda Murchison Falls National Park, Buligi, 16 June 1957, Buechner 67 !

Caprivi Strip Caprivi side of Okavango R. at Bagani Pontoon, 19.i.1956, de Winter & Wiss 4344 (K).

Malawi Chitipa Distr., 19 km SE of Chitipa, 20.ii.1970, Drummond & Williamson 9856 (K).

Zimbabwe Mwenezi Distr., Nuanetsi Experimental Station, 560 m, 14.xii.1971, J.I. Barnes 46 (K).

Niger: Zinder to Médik (Aug.) P. de Fabrègues 2031!

Botswana Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Mpaathutlwa Pan, 11.iii.1976, Ellis 2638 (K; SRGH).

Zimbabwe Chipinge Distr., Save (Sabi) Valley East, south of Gumira (Gomera), 26.vi.1966, West 7388 (K).

Zimbabwe Hurungwe Distr., Mana Pools National Park, 24.i.1981, Dunham 26 (SRGH).

Tanzania Mkata Plain, 30 Jan. 1952, Fuggles Couchman 14!

Kenya Dandu, 6 May 1952, Gillett 13079! & 8 km. Ijara–Mokowe, 1 Oct. 1957, Greenway 9237!

Zimbabwe Matobo Distr., Matopos Research Station, 22.i.1980, Moodie 41 (SRGH).

Mozambique Gorongosa Nat. Park, ii.1969, Tinley 1710 (K; SRGH).

South Africa Prince Albert Div.; Gamka Poort, {i}Mund & Maire!{/i} Calvinia Div.; Uien Vallei, 2000 ft., {i}Drège{/i}. Richmond Div.; Winter Veld, between Nieuwjaars Fontein and Ezels Fontein, 3000–4000 ft., {i}Drège!{/i} Colesberg Div.; Wonderhuivel, 4500 ft., {i}Drège{/i}.

Widespread from southern Africa to tropical Africa and India.

South Africa Uitenhage Div.; Springbok Flats, by the Zwartkops River, {i}Ecklon!{/i}

Zambia Luangwa Distr., Katondwe, 14.xi.1963, Fanshawe 8137 (SRGH).

Mozambique Massingir Distr., Bangwa alluvial horseshoe, 1.xii.1981, R.J. White 24 (K).

Mozambique Cahora Bassa Distr., between Chicoa and Chinhanda, 29.ii.1972, Macêdo 4942 (LISC).

Kenya 72 km. on Nairobi-Magadi road, 25 June 1951, Bogdan 3107 !

Botswana headwater valley of Qangwa River near Namibia border, 23.iv.1981, P.A. Smith 3669 (K; SRGH).

Zambia Petauke Distr., Chilongozi area, ii.1963, Verboom 910 (BM; K).

Zimbabwe Chegutu Distr., Poole Farm, c. 1220 m, 19.i.1944, H.I.E. Hornby 2344 (K).

Botswana Kgalagadi Distr., Phuduhutswe Pan, west of Hukuntsi, c. 1100 m, 22.i.1979, van Gils in GHS 263849 (K; SRGH).

Malawi Machinga Distr., Liwonde/Shire Rivers, 27.iii.1984, Banda & Kaunda 2128 (K).

Mali: Toguère of Sarédina (May) Davey 87! Goumbomba, Koubita (Dec.) Davey 26! Dogo (Apr.) Davey 560! Banguita (Sept.) Farrow 9!

Mozambique Salamanga by Maputo River near Matutuíne (Bela Vista), 29.xii.1983, Timberlake 3254 (SRGH).

Maur.: Néma Rossetti 61/167!


Fl. Afr. Austral. Ill.: 161 (1841). —T. Durand & Schinz, Consp. Fl. Afric. 5: 821 (1895). —Stapf in F.C. 7: 583 (1900). —Chippindall in Meredith, Grasses & Pastures of South Africa: 216 (1955). —Launert in Merxmüller, Prodr. Fl. SW. Afrika, fam. 160: 183 (1970). —Simon in Kirkia 8: 37 & 72 (1971). —Clayton in F.T.E.A., Gramineae: 367 (1974). —Müller, Grasses of South West Africa/Namibia: 238 (1984). —Gibbs Russell et al., Grasses Southern Africa [Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa No. 58]: 309 (1990). Syntypes from South Africa.

Fl. Afr. Austr. 161 (1841).

Fl. Afr. Austr.: 161 (1841); Clayton in F.W.T.A., ed. 2, 3: 407 (1972).

Fl. Afr. Austr. 161;—Durand & Schinz, Consp. Fl. Afr. v. 821.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Socotra
  • Somalia
  • Northern Africa Tunisia
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Southern Africa Botswana
  • Cape Provinces
  • Caprivi Strip
  • Free State
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Namibia
  • Northern Provinces
  • Swaziland
  • West Tropical Africa Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger
  • Senegal
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Rwanda
  • Zaire
  • Asia-Temperate Arabian Peninsula Gulf States
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen
  • Western Asia Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Lebanon-Syria
  • Palestine
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent India
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka


  • 1 Onana, J.M. (2011). The vascular plants of Cameroon a taxonomic checklist with IUCN assessments: 1-195. National herbarium of Cameroon, Yaoundé.
  • 2 Dobignard, D. & Chatelain, C. (2010). Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 1: 1-455. Éditions des conservatoire et jardin botaniques, Genève.
  • 3 Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola. Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • 4 Cope, T.A., Knees, S.G. & Miller, A.G. (2007). Flora of the Arabian peninsula and Socotra 5(1): 1-387. Edinburgh University Press.
  • 5 Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T. & Williamson, H. (2006). World Grass Species - Synonymy database. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 6 Boulos, L. (2005). Flora of Egypt 4: 1-617. Al Hadara Publishing, Cairo.
  • 7 Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
  • 8 Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds.) (2003). Plants of Southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14.: i-vi, 1-1231. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • 9 Jongbloed, M., Western, R.A. & Boer, B. (2000). Annotated Check-list for plants in the U.A.E.: 1-90. Zodiac Publishing, Dubai.
  • 10 Cope, T. (1999). Flora Zambesiaca 10(2): 1-261. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 11 Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A Handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 12 Hedberg, I. & Edwards, S. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 7: 1-430. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • 13 Thulin, M. (ed.) (1995). Flora of Somalia 4: i-ii, 1-298. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 14 Audru, J., Cesar, J. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1993). Les Plantes Vasculaires de la République de Djibouti. Flore Illustrée 2(2): 433-968. CIRAD, Départerment d'Elevage et de Médecine vétérinaire, Djibouti.
  • 15 Ghazanfar, S.A. (1992). An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Oman and their Vernacular names. Scripta Botanica Belgica 2: 1-153.
  • 16 Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 2: 360-550. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
  • 17 Karthikeyan, S., Jain, S.K., Nayar, M.P. & Sanjappa, M. (1989). Florae Indicae Enumeratio: Monocotyledonae: 1-435. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
  • 18 Ndabaneze, P. (1989). Catalogue des Graminées du Burundi. Lejeunia; Revue de Botanique , n.s., 132: 1-127.
  • 19 Troupin, G. (ed.) (1988). Flora du Rwanda 4: I-X, 1-651. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
  • 20 Al-Rawi, A. (1987). Flora of Kuwait 2: 1-455. Alden Press Ltd., U.K..
  • 21 Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
  • 22 Cope, T.A. (1982). Flora of Pakistan 143: 1-678. Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi.
  • 23 Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • 24 Clayton, W.D., Phillips, S.M., Renvoize, S.A. (1974). Gramineae. Flora of Tropical East Africa 2: 177-449.
  • 25 Lebrun, J.P. (1973). Énumération des plantes vasculaires du Sénégal: 1-209. Maisons Alfort: Institut d'élevage et de médecine vétérinaire des pays tropicaux.
  • 26 Hepper, F.N. (ed.) (1972). Flora of West Tropical Africa , ed. 2, 3(2): 277-574.
  • 27 Bor, N.L. (1970). Flora Iranica 70: 1-573. Naturhistorisches Museums Wien.

 Information From

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Capensis
Flora Capensis. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Strelitzia 30
Strelitzia 30: Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region volume 2: The Extra Cape Flora. Edited by D.A. Snijman (2013)
WCS higher taxonomy
  • F All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • G See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.