Bothriochloa macra (Steud.) S.T.Blake

Red-leg Grass

Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 80: 64 (1969) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizomatous perennials, often reddish, culms ascending to erect, sometimes branched, to c. 80 cm high, nodes glabrous or shortly pubescent. Leaves glabrous, or with scattered, often tubercle-based hairs; blade to 20 cm long and 5 mm wide; ligule truncate, sometimes shortly ciliate, 1–2 mm long. Inflorescence with 2–6 racemes, each 2–9 cm long, arranged subdigitately, barely spreading; pedicellate spikelets sterile, reduced to a single glume 3–4 mm long (occasionally with a smaller second glume); sessile spikelets 5–7 mm long (excluding awn), subtended by a tuft of silky hairs up to c. half as long as spikelet; lower glume 5–7-nerved, firm, flattened dorsally, often with a distinct pit in the upper third; upper glume similar but keeled and thinner-textured, never pitted; sterile lemma slightly shorter than glumes, thinly membranous; fertile lemma 2–3 mm long, appearing as a mere broadening at the base of the brown, once or twice bent, twisting awn 15–20 mm long; palea minute or absent. Flowers all year, but mainly Dec.–Apr.

CVU, DunT, EGU, GipP, Gold, HNF, HSF, MuF, MuM, NIS, OtP, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also SA, Qld, NSW, NI (naturalised), ACT, Tas (naturalised). Common in grassland and grassy woodland communities in warmer parts of the State, particularly upper Murray and lower Goulburn River valleys, but rare in the Mallee and Wimmera. Locally abundant on the basalt plain immediately west of Melbourne.

East Gippsland populations (rocky, rain-shadow areas from Buchan eastward) differ slightly from those elsewhere in the state in having shortly pubescent nodes, rather smaller inflorescences and spikelets (the latter with consistently unpitted glumes and barely 5 mm long).

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, 2018-07-27
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Bothriochloa
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Bothriochloa macra in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Bothriochloa macra in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native

State distribution

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