Aira caryophyllea L. Silvery Hairgrass
Aira cupaniana Guss. Silvery Hairgrass
Aira elegantissima Schur
Aira praecox L. Early Hairgrass
Aira is the Greek name for darnel.
Hairgrass or Delicate Hair grass, because of its delicate nature and fine hair like stems and seed heads.
Other Names:Delicate Hair grass
Early Hair grass
Silvery hair grass, Seed heads are silvery in appearance.
Summary:A fine leaved, hairless, erect annual grass.
First leaves: Parallel sided. Narrow.
Leaves:Emerging leaf rolled in the bud.
Mainly at the base of the stem.
Blade - Grey green. Hairless. Short. Narrow. Sometimes rolled inwards.
Ligule - Conspicuous, membranous or translucent, lance shaped, hairless.
Auricles - None.
Sheath - Smooth or rough to touch. Loose. Striped
Stems: 100-300 mm tall. Single or a tuft of erect stems.
Flower head:Loose, open panicle. 20-100 mm long. Broadly egg shaped. Branches longer than spikelets. Often with paired slender branches that are initially erect and later widely spreading.
Flowers: Spikelets - Single at the ends of fine branches. Silvery or pinkish. 1.5-4 mm long. Spikelet stalks 2-10 mm long. 2 flowered. Flattened.
Florets - 2. Both bisexual. Shorter than glumes. Serrated on the keel.
Glumes - 2, oval, persistent, hairless, membranous, keeled, 1 nerved and pointed.
Palea - 2 lobed.
Lemma - brown, hard, thin and transparent, with a two pointed tip, shorter and narrower than glume and sometimes with a bent awn attached to their back. Rough to touch near the top.
Small. Narrow. Grooved lengthwise on one side.
Key Characters:Open and lax panicle.
Pedicels (flower stalks) 3-5 times as long as spikelets.
Germinates in autumn and early winter following rains. Vegetative growth during winter. Sets seed in spring and dies in summer.
September to December.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Origin and History:
Mediterranean. Europe. Africa. Asia. Azores
Distribution:ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Red = Aira caryophyllea L. Silvery Hairgrass
Yellow = Aira cupaniana Guss. Silvery Hairgrass
Blue = Aira elegantissima Schur
White = Aira praecox L. Early Hairgrass
Soil:Gravelly hill slopes and ridges with sandy granitic or skeletal soils
Plant Associations:Grasses. white cypress pine communities.
Fodder, but doesn't produce much bulk.
Detrimental:Weed of grasslands.
Management and Control:Thresholds:
Biological Control:Related plants:
Early Hair grass (Aira praecox)
Delicate Hair grass (Aira elegantissima, Aira elegans)
Silvery Hair grass (Aira caryophyllea, Aira cupaniana)
|Plants of similar appearance:|| |
Black, J.M. (1978). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P161. Diagram.
Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P34-37. Diagram.
Ciba Geigy 2 .
Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P52. Photo.
Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #41.
Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P935.
Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.