Prota 1: Cereals and pulses/Céréales et légumes secs
Journ. Bot. 29: 72 (1891).
Ringed lovegrass, ring windgrass (En). Eragrostis annelé (Fr).
Origin and geographic distribution
Eragrostis annulata is found in Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
The grain of Eragrostis annulata is eaten in Namibia.
Eragrostis annulata has an unpleasant smell.
Annual, loosely tufted grass up to 40 cm tall; stem (culm) ascending, with a glandular ring below the nodes. Leaves alternate, simple; leaf sheath thinly hairy, the slender hairs mixed with shorter gland-tipped hairs; ligule a line of hairs; blade linear, 2–12 cm × 1–5 mm, flat, thinly hairy, with scattered crater-shaped glands along the margins and a line of glandular pits along the midvein below. Inflorescence an ovoid panicle 4–20 cm long, fairly dense to open, stiffly branched, primary branches not in whorls, terminating in a fertile spikelet. Spikelet on a pedicel 1–3 mm long with a distinct annular gland, narrowly oblong or sometimes linear, laterally compressed, 3–9(–15) mm × 1.5–2.5 mm, 6–16(–40)-flowered, with bisexual florets; glumes almost equal, narrowly ovate, up to 1 mm long, keeled, apex acute; lemma ovate to broadly ovate, 1.5–2 mm long, keeled, papery, glabrous, apex obtuse; palea glabrous on the sides, persistent; stamens 3, anthers 0.5–1 mm long; ovary superior, with 2 stigmas. Fruit a more or less square caryopsis (grain) c. 0.5 mm long, with a shallow to deep depression along the back.
Eragrostis is a large and taxonomically complex genus comprising more than 350 species mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. Eragrostis annulata resembles the forage species Eragrostis cilianensis (All.) F.T.Hubb., but the latter lacks gland-tipped hairs and has a globose grain.
In its native region Eragrostis annulata flowers from February to May.
Eragrostis annulata is found on a range of soil types, especially on sandy, stony or calcareous soils where the groundwater table is high, and in disturbed locations.
Eragrostis annulata is collected from the wild.
Genetic resources and breeding
The Division of Plant and Seed Control, Department of Agriculture Technical Service, Pretoria, South Africa, holds 2 accessions of Eragrostis annulata. This species occurs in a diversity of habitats in a fairly large region, and thus is not easily liable to genetic erosion.
The role of Eragrostis annulata as a source of food is very limited and will most probably remain so.
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Correct citation of this article:
Brink, M., 2006. Eragrostis annulata Rendle ex Scott-Elliot In: Brink, M. & Belay, G. (Editors). PROTA 1: Cereals and pulses/Céréales et légumes secs. [CD-Rom]. PROTA, Wageningen, Netherlands.