Dactyloctenium radulans

(R. Br.) P. Beauv.
Common names: Buttongrass
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 25. Treatment on page 113.

Plants annuals or short-lived perennials. Culms 5-20(50) cm, decumbent or ascending, rarely erect, usually branched. Sheaths glabrous or with papillose-based hairs, slightly keeled; ligules to 1 mm, membranous, truncate, ciliate; blades flat, bases with papillose-based hairs. Panicle branches 2-11, 0.4-1.5 cm, almost globose, most of the spikelets in contact with the spikelets of adjacent branches; branch axes extending beyond the distal spikelets as 1-1.5 mm points. Spikelets 3.5-5 mm, with 2-5 florets. Glumes strongly keeled; lower glumes 1-2 mm, ovate, acute; upper glumes 1.5-3 mm, oblong elliptic, acuminate, awned, awns 0.5-2.5 mm; lemmas 3-4.3 mm, ovate, keels scabrous, 1-veined, veins excurrent about 0.5 mm, apices acuminate to mucronate; paleas shorter than the lemmas; anthers 0.2-0.8 mm, pale yellow. Seeds about 1.2 mm long, about 0.7 mm wide, transversely rugose, brown. 2n = unknown.


Dactyloctenium radulans has been found at few locations in the Flora region, most of which were associated with wool waste. It is native to Australia, where it is regarded as a valuable ephemeral pasture grass in the drier inland areas but also as a garden weed. It resembles Dactyloctenium aristatum Link of tropical eastern Africa, differing primarily in having transversely rugose, rather than granular, caryopses.

Selected References


Lower Taxa