Monocymbium Stapf
  • D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 9: 386 (1919) 

Notes: Distribution: Trop. & S. Africa

General Description

HABIT Perennial. Culms erect (1), or geniculately ascending (1), or decumbent, or prostrate (2); slender (1/1); 30-88.33-130 cm long; rooting from lower nodes (2/2). Ligule an eciliate membrane (2), or a ciliolate membrane (1). Leaf-blades linear (1), or lanceolate (2). Leaf-blade margins cartilaginous (1/1). INFLORESCENCE Synflorescence compound; scanty. Inflorescence composed of racemes; terminal and axillary; subtended by a spatheole; enclosed. Spatheole lanceolate; membranous. Racemes single; unilateral; bearing few fertile spikelets; bearing 5 fertile spikelets on each (1/2), or 6-8 fertile spikelets on each (2/2), or 9-10 fertile spikelets on each (1/2). Rhachis fragile at the nodes. Spikelet packing crowded. Rhachis internodes filiform. Rhachis internode tip oblique. Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels filiform. STERILE SPIKELETS Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; separately deciduous. Companion sterile spikelet callus cuneate. Companion sterile spikelet glumes muticous. FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate (1), or elliptic (2), or oblong (1); dorsally compressed; 3-3.533-4 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus square (2), or oblong (1); pilose; base obtuse; attached obliquely. GLUMES Glumes exceeding apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume elliptic; coriaceous; without keels; 8 -veined (1), or 9-10 -veined (2), or 11-15 -veined (1). Lower glume surface smooth (1), or scabrous (2); glabrous (1), or pilose (1), or villous (2). Lower glume apex truncate (1/2), or obtuse (1/2). Upper glume lanceolate (1), or elliptic (2); chartaceous (2/2); without keels; 3 -veined. Upper glume surface smooth (1), or scabrous (2). Upper glume apex entire (1), or dentate (2); 2 -fid (2/2); acute (1/1); awned; 1 -awned. FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret oblong; hyaline; 0 -veined (2), or 2 -veined (1); emarginate (1/1), or truncate (1/1). Fertile lemma linear; hyaline; without keel. Lemma apex lobed; 2 -fid; incised 0.4-0.5-0.6 of lemma length; awned; 1 -awned. Principal lemma awn from a sinus; geniculate. Palea absent or minute. FLOWER Anthers 3 (2/2). DISTRIBUTION Africa.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Tanzania
  • Northeast Tropical Africa Chad
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan
  • South Tropical Africa Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Southern Africa Botswana
  • Cape Provinces
  • Caprivi Strip
  • Free State
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • Northern Provinces
  • Swaziland
  • West Tropical Africa Benin
  • Burkina
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Congo
  • Gabon
  • Rwanda
  • Zaire


  • 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. [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
  • 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; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • C See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.