Lophatherum gracile Brongn.

Lophatherum gracile Brongn.





Vernacular Names

Malaysia Rumput kelurut, rumput jarang, rumput bulu (Peninsular).
Indonesia Rumput bambu, tangkur gunung (Sundanese).
Thailand Phai pen lek (Trang), yaa khui mai phai (Prachin Buri).
Vietnam D[aj]m tr[us]c di[eej]p, c[or] m[aa]y, c[or] l[as] tre.

Geographical Distributions

L. gracile is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical Asia, from southern India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China and Thailand to Korea, Japan, the whole Malaysian region and northern Australia.


This is a perennial and tufted herb, which can reach up to 120 cm tall, with short and branched rhizome. Roots are fibrous, locally thickened to spindle-shaped tubers, which are up to 4 cm long and erect, compressed and hollow culms.

Leaves are distichously alternate arranged, simple, ovate-lance-shaped, 10-30 cm x 1-5.5 cm. It is contracted into 6-18 mm long pseudo-petiole at base, acuminate at apex, scabrous margins, smooth to hairy and distinctly cross-veined. Sheath is hairless, but margins are ciliate. Ligule is very short and truncate.

Inflorescence is a spike-like panicle, up to 45 cm long, consisting of irregularly and distantly placed spiciform racemes that up to 15 cm long with spikelets are in 2 rows. The 9-13 mm long spikelets are ovate-lance-shaped, very short stalk, with 1 bisexual floret, which is having lower glume with a size of 3.5-4.5 mm long and 5-veined. The upper glume is 5-6.5 mm long and 5-7-veined. The lemma is 6-7 mm long and 7-9-veined while the palea is 5-6 mm long and strongly 2-veined. Spikelet is on top with 5-13 sterile lemmas, which are gradually becoming smaller and retrorsely scaberulous awns up to 2 mm long. Lodicules are broadly wedge-shaped. There are 2 stamens with linear anthers. The ovary is with 2 long styles that connate at base and long stigmas.

Fruit is an oblong-fusiform caryopsis and about 3.5 mm long.

Ecology / Cultivation

L. gracile usually occurs in mixed forest, in shaded, not too dry localities up to 1500 m altitude. It is locally common.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(3): Medicinal and poisonous plants 3.