Amphipogon caricinus var. caricinus

Long Grey-beard Grass

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Compact, densely tufted perennial; culms erect, 20–50 cm high, glabrous except for a few antrorse, glandular hairs above the nodes. Leaves glabrous (except bract-like, basal cataphylls and margins of the lowest sheaths which are sparsely to densely ciliate); blade terete-convolute, rather rigid, needle-pointed, to 25 cm long and c. 1 mm diam.; ligule densely ciliate, 0.5–1 mm long. Inflorescence 2–4 cm long; glumes unequal, ovate, 3–7 mm long, the upper exceeding the lower by 1–2 mm, papery, with scattered, tubercle-based hairs; lemma 6.5–8 mm long (including awns), the body finely tuberculate, half as long as the awns or slightly more, 3-nerved, with 2 lines of silky hairs between the mid and lateral nerves; awns densely ciliate, spreading at maturity; margin of lemma membranous, produced at each side into a deciduous wing about half as long as awns. Flowers mostly Sep.–Jan.

GGr, LoM, MuF, MuM, RobP, VRiv, Wim. Also WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. Occurs on deep sands, usually on dune-crests or low rises of the Big Desert and Sunset Country in the far north-west.

An 1853 specimen labelled 'Grampians' suggests a former more southerly distribution, but in the absence of other collections from this well-collected area, doubt must exist about the accuracy of the label accompanying the specimen.

There are 3 varietes of the species, var. caricinus being the most widespread, the other 2 confined to northern Australia.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-12-27
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Amphipogon
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Amphipogon caricinus var. caricinus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Amphipogon caricinus var. caricinus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Greater Grampians present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales