Hyperthelia Clayton
  • Kew Bull. 20: 438 (1966 publ. 1967) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. & S. Africa, Madagascar

General Description

HABIT Annual (5), or perennial (2). Culms erect (3/3); 100-233.7-570 cm long; without nodal roots (2/4), or with prop roots (4/4). Leaf-sheath auricles absent (5), or erect (5). Ligule an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blade base without a false petiole (6), or with a false petiole (1). Leaf-blades linear, or lanceolate (1). INFLORESCENCE Synflorescence compound; scanty (1), or linear (1), or paniculate (3), or fastigiate (2). Inflorescence composed of racemes; terminal and axillary; subtended by a spatheole; exserted (2), or embraced at base by subtending leaf (2), or enclosed (3). Spatheole linear (1), or lanceolate (6); scarious. Racemes paired; side by side (6), or with abortive upper raceme represented by a single sterile spikelet (1); erect (3), or ascending (1), or spreading (1), or deflexed (3); bearing few fertile spikelets; bearing 1 fertile spikelets on each (6), or 2-5 fertile spikelets on each (1). Rhachis fragile at the nodes. Rhachis internodes filiform (6), or linear (1). Rhachis internode tip oblique; flat. Raceme-bases filiform; subequal (1), or unequal (the longer measured); extended into an oblong appendage (5), or extended into a flask-like appendage (2). Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels filiform; tip rectangular (1), or oblique (6). STERILE SPIKELETS Basal sterile spikelets well-developed. Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; deciduous with the fertile (6/6). Companion sterile spikelet callus indistinct (1), or cuneate (6). Companion sterile spikelet glumes muticous (4), or awned (6). FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets linear; subterete; 7.47-13.97-35 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus cuneate; pubescent (1), or pilose (4), or bearded (2); base acute (1), or pungent (6); attached obliquely. GLUMES Glumes exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong; coriaceous; without keels; 6 -veined (2/5), or 7-9 -veined (1/5), or 10 -veined (3/5), or 11 -veined (2/5), or 12-14 -veined (3/5). Lower glume surface with a longitudinal median groove; glabrous (1), or puberulous (1), or pubescent (5). Lower glume apex dentate; 2 -fid; setaceously attenuate (2/2); muticous (6), or mucronate (1). Upper glume oblong; coriaceous; without keels; 3 -veined. Upper glume apex emarginate (2/4), or acute (1/4), or setaceously attenuate (1/4); muticous (3), or mucronate (3), or awned (3); 1 -awned (2/2). FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret oblong (6/6); hyaline; 2 -veined (6/6). Fertile lemma linear; hyaline; without keel; 3 -veined (6/6). Lemma margins eciliate (2), or ciliate (5). Lemma apex dentate (6), or lobed (1); 2 -fid; incised 0.1-0.1667-0.25 of lemma length; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; geniculate. Column of lemma awn puberulous (1), or pubescent (2), or hirtellous (4). Palea absent or minute. FLOWER Anthers 3 (1/1). FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp (1/1); fusiform (1/1). DISTRIBUTION Africa, or North America (1), or South America (1).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Chad
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Southern Africa Botswana
  • Caprivi Strip
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Namibia
  • Northern Provinces
  • Swaziland
  • West Tropical Africa Benin
  • Burkina
  • Gambia, The
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Togo
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Rwanda
  • Zaire
  • Western Indian Ocean Madagascar
Introduced into
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Northwest
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Brazil Brazil South
  • Brazil Southeast
  • Central America El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Western South America Colombia


  • 1 Govaerts, R.H.A. (2011). World checklist of selected plant families published update. Facilitated by the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 Information From

GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
Clayton, W.D., Vorontsova, M.S., Harman, K.T. and Williamson, H. (2006 onwards). GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora. http://www.kew.org/data/grasses-db.html. [accessed 24 January 2012; 14:30 GMT]
  • A © Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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