Sporobolus verdcourtii Napper
Tussocky perennial, the tufts often connected by stolons; culms 15-80 cm high. Leaf-blades flat, rarely rolled, 2-20 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, finely ribbed above, stiff, usually with tubercle-based hairs or prickles on the margin near the base. Panicle narrowly ovate to pyramidal, usually spreading but sometimes ± contracted, 4-15 cm long; primary branches in 4-7 whorls, usually simple with the spikelets appressed but sometimes branched, bare for the lower quarter to third of their length. Spikelets (1.5-)2.2-3 mm long, smooth or scaberulous, pallid grey; lower glume narrowly ovate to narrowly oblong, 0.5-1 mm long, about a third the length of the spikelet, obtuse; upper glume narrowly ovate to lanceolate, 1.1-2.6 mm long, two-thirds to four-fifths as long as the lemma; lemma lanceolate-elliptic, as long as the spikelet; anthers 3, 0.9-1.2 mm long. Grain ellipsoid, 0.8-1.2 mm long.
Type: Tanzania, Holst 3126 (K).
Distribution: Pakistan (Sind & Baluchistan); Rhodesia to Somalia; Sri Lanka.
This species intergrades with Sporobolus ioclados. In Africa it can be distinguished by the shorter upper glume and the pallid spikelets which tend to be appressed to the primary panicle branches. Such distinctions are not so clear in Asia where the longer spikelets, denser panicle and coastal habitat are the best guide. Sporobolus kentrophyllus closely resembles Sporobolus maderaspatanus Bor, an Indian species with rolled leaf-blades and a panicle in which only the lowest branches form a whorl. The Indian species has been confused with Sporobolus orientalis (Nees) Kunth (1833), a superfluous name for Sporobolus tenacissimus (Linn.f.) P. Beauv. (1812), which is itself a synomym of Muhlenbergia mexicana (Linn.) Trin. (1824). See Bor in Kew Bull. 12: 234. 1957.
Sporobolus kentrophyllus is a plant of saline or alkaline grasslands, seashore sands and sandy patches in mangrove swamps; rarely on stony soil.