Tufted perennial 30-75 cm high occurring in moderately dry areas.
Densely tufted perennial grass. The filiform leaves are mostly basal, slightly aromatic when crushed. The mature inflorescences typically curl back in a sickle shape, showing spreading spikelets, covered in long, silvery hairs. These are strongly lemon-scented when crushed.
Elionurus muticus (Grassbase)
HABIT Perennial; caespitose; clumped densely. Butt sheaths herbaceous, or coriaceous; glabrous, or pubescent; persistent and investing base of culm; with compacted dead sheaths, or fibrous dead sheaths. Culms erect; 15–100 cm long. Lateral branches lacking, or sparse. Leaves mostly basal. Ligule a ciliolate membrane. Leaf-blades filiform; involute; 5–30 cm long; 1–2 mm wide; aromatic. Leaf-blade apex attenuate; filiform, or hardened.
INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence composed of racemes.
Racemes 1; single; 4–14 cm long. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; subterete; villous on surface. Rhachis internodes linear. Rhachis internode tip oblique; flat; with simple rim.
Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels linear; flattened; villous.
STERILE SPIKELETS Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4–7 mm long; shorter than fertile; deciduous with the fertile. Companion sterile spikelet glumes chartaceous; pubescent, or pilose, or villous; acuminate; muticous, or mucronate. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas 2; enclosed by glumes.
FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 5–9.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus cuneate; 1–1.5 mm long; pubescent; base obtuse; attached obliquely.
GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; reaching apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; with oil streaks; 2-keeled; 6–8 -veined. Lower glume surface villous. Lower glume margins ciliate. Lower glume apex entire, or lobed; 2 -fid; setaceously attenuate (up to 7mm). Upper glume lanceolate; 1-keeled; 3–5 -veined. Upper glume primary vein ciliate. Upper glume surface pubescent. Upper glume margins ciliate. Upper glume apex acute.
FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; hyaline; 2 -veined; ciliolate on margins. Fertile lemma oblong; hyaline; without keel; 3 -veined. Lemma margins ciliolate. Palea absent or minute.
DISTRIBUTION Africa: west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south. Asia-temperate: Arabia. North America: Mexico. South America: northern South America, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.