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Species profile—Digitaria porrecta


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → Poaceae (grass) → Digitaria porrecta

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Poaceae (grass)
Scientific name
Digitaria porrecta S.T.Blake
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
finger panic grass
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 131638, 131639, 131640
Digitaria porrecta is a perennial, loosely tufted, erect or ascending grass up to 60 cm tall; the culms are branched and the nodes are pubescent. The leaf sheaths are glabrous, or with a few hairs especially towards the base; the ligules are membranous, 2 to 3 mm long; the leaf blades are linear, the apex attenuate, 5 to 15 cm x 0.3 to 0.4 cm, pubescent or glabrous. Inflorescence panicles of several racemes, racemes up to 25 cm long, lower most racemes whorled, branched, branches divaricate, 3 to 10 cm long, upper racemes solitary; spikelets in pairs, 5 to 7 mm long; lower glume 1 to 1.5 mm long, upper glume somewhat shorter than spikelet, pubescent between the outer nerves, hairs at first appressed, at length spreading and woolly; lower florets with lemma as long as spikelet, pubescent between the outer nerves, hairs at first appressed, at length spreading and woolly; upper florets shorter than spikelet (Stanley, 1989).
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Digitaria porrecta occurs in four disjunct areas extending over 1000 km. In Queensland, it occurs in the Nebo district, south-west of Mackay; the Central Highlands between Springsure and Rolleston; and from Jandowae south to Warwick (41 sites). In NSW, it occurs from Graman and Croppa Creek (near Inverell), south to the Liverpool Plains near Coonabarabran and Werris Creek (33 sites) (BRI, n.d.; Halford, 1995b) (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-21.5174083, 147.939544
-28.2484114, 152.0655263
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Digitaria porrecta is endemic to eastern Australia in Queensland and New South Wales where it occurs in a number of disjunct population centres with appropriate heavy soils. In Queensland these localities are all within the Brigalow Belt bioregion. The species occurs in tussock grassland or open woodland of poplar box or forest red gum, invariably on heavy, cracking clays, sometimes of alluvial origin. The climate is subtropical and seasonal, often with extended periods of drought (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Digitaria porrecta seeds from March to April but also reproduces vegetatively by dying back to the tussock base, from which it resprouts in summer. As the tussock ages the central portion dies and the resultant ring of plantlets eventually separate and become independent tussocks (Halford, 1995b; Sharp and Simon, 2001; NSW DEC, 2008a).
Threatening processes
The main identified threats to Digitaria porrecta are clearing and habitat fragmentation; fire; trampling and grazing by livestock; physical disturbance by machinery; and urban expansion (Leigh et al., 1984, Halford, 1995b; NSW DEC, 2008a). Competition from introduced grasses such as Rhodes Grass (Chloris gayana) and Liverseed Grass (Urochloa panicoides) also present potential threats to Digitaria porrecta (Halford, 1995b).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Darling Downs, Leichhardt. Also occurs in New South Wales.
Contributors: Weslawa Misiak 28/04/1999; Ronald Booth 24/02/2012.
Blake, S.T. (1973). Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Studies in the Gramineae. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 84: 63.
Halford, D. (1995). Digitaria porrecta S.T. Blake (Poaceae) A Conservation Statement. Unpublished report to ANCA. Endangered Species Program. Project No. 482.
NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) (2005a). Digitaria porrecta - Profile, Accessed 23/02/2012.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 23/02/2012.
Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1989). Flora of South-eastern Queensland 3: 258.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (29/06/2012)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024