Rytidosperma pilosum (R.Br.) Connor & Edgar

Velvet Wallaby-grass

New Zealand J. Bot. 17: 326 (1979) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Loosely tufted perennial. Leaves (at least the sheath) sparsely to moderately hairy, rarely quite glabrous; blade flat, folded or inrolled, to 15 cm long and 2 mm wide. Panicle oblong to narrowly ovate, usually compact, with spikelets overlapping, 2–8 cm long. Spikelets infrequently purplish, 5–9-flowered; glumes subequal, 9–20 mm long; lemma (2.5–)3.5–6 mm long, with hairs in two series, the upper reduced to 2 sparse dorsal tufts, with more prominent marginal tufts, the lower series more or less complete but tufts typically short and sparse, commonly overlapped by the denser callus tuft; lateral lobes erect, 6–11 mm long, tapered below the middle into fine setae; central awn usually dark and strongly twisted, more than 0.3 mm wide at base; palea oblanceolate to obovate, exceeding sinus by up to 0.5 mm, or occasionally not reaching sinus. Flowers Oct.–Jan.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Also WA, SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. New Zealand. Widespread and common mostly in dryish sites south of the Great Dividing Range, less common to the north (apparently absent from the north-west). Rare in the alps proper, unlike the closely related and often coextensive Rytidosperma penicillatum.

Flowers Oct.–Jan.Plants with very fine inrolled leaf-blades, compact inflorescences and spikelets and florets at the lower end of the range for the species have sometimes been regarded as forms of Rytidosperma dimidiatum Vickery (Connor & Edgar), a Tasmanian species. Victorian specimens have lemmas with lateral lobes tapered evenly into elongated setae in contrast to Tasmanian examples in which the lateral lemma lobes taper abruptly into very short points (approaching the very reduced condition of e.g. R. nivicola). Further investigation may show at least some of the Victorian specimens warrant taxonomic recognition, but in the interim at least, they are considered better placed in an already variable R. pilosum than in the seemingly very distinct R. dimidiatum.

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 (as Danthonia pilosa R.Br.).
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2020-02-04
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Rytidosperma
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Rytidosperma pilosum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Rytidosperma pilosum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory