Themeda [genus] (1,084)
Synonyms: Anthistiria [genus] L.f.
T. arguens (873)
T. avenacia (341)
Synonyms: Anthistiria avenacia F. Muell.
T. gigantea (326)
Synonyms: Themeda gigantea (Cav.) Hack.
T. triandra (1,533)
Synonyms: Themeda australis (R.Br.) Stapf, Anthistiria australis R.Br., Anthistiria imberbis Retz.
T. villosa (839)
Synonyms: Themeda villosa Durand & Jackson



Themeda [genus] Forssk. POACEAE

Synonyms: Anthistiria [genus] L.f.

Asia, Australia; 50 spp. Ann. or per. Infl. of several short racemes, each subtended by a spathe and consisting of 2 approximate pairs of sessile, awnless male or neuter spikelets, which form an involucre around a short rachis that bears a single fertile awned spikelet and a pair of sterile pedicelled ones, the rachis disjointing above the sessile spikelets and forming a pointed callus below the bisexual one (Hortus Third 1976:1106) Old World trop. & subtrop.; 19 spp. Lvs. linear, ligule much reduced (Griffiths 1994:1150) Sometimes forms the principal cover in trop. fire-climax steppe (Mabberley 1998:710) Old World tropics. Coarse grass. Several spp. useful as fodder in dry places (Burkill 1966:Vol. 2 page 2185). Anthistiria: As a commercial source for paper, this grass ranks better than Saccharum, Eulaliopsis, Phragmites or Arundo (Burkill 1966:Vol. 1 page 262)


POACEAE Themeda arguens

Themeda arguens (L.) Hack. POACEAE

India to Australia; N Malaya. Coarse grass, usually about 3 ft. high in open places. Will grow on sterile soil, so is useful as fodder where soil & climate prod. nothing better. Cattle eat young lvs. readily, but feed value lower than average for grasses. At flowering, basal lvs. die, and plant is hard, useless. Seeds have a sharp point and long twisted awn. Awn twists & untwists in response to rain or dew, and as it dries screws the seed into the soil. In Madoera Is., used to bore the hole for an earring in the lobes of ears of v. small girls. Useless for paper. Java, pulped plant said to be applied for lumbago (Burkill 1966:Vol. 2 page 2185) Valid species (GRIN 2006)


POACEAE Themeda avenacia

Themeda avenacia (F.Muell.) Maiden & Betche POACEAE

Synonyms: Anthistiria avenacia F. Muell.

Common names: Oat Grass (Britannica)

Anthistiria v.: Queensland (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893:Queensland). Valid species & synonym (GRIN 2006)


POACEAE Themeda gigantea

Themeda gigantea (Cav.) Duthie POACEAE

Synonyms: Themeda gigantea (Cav.) Hack.

Common names: Ulla (Mabberley)

Trop. Asia. Possibly of use in paper-making (Mabberley 1998:710) Valid species (GRIN 2006)


POACEAE Themeda triandra

Themeda triandra Forssk. POACEAE

Synonyms: Themeda australis (R.Br.) Stapf, Anthistiria australis R.Br., Anthistiria imberbis Retz.

Common names: Rooi Grass (Dalziel) Kangaroo Grass (Britannica)

T. australis: Australia. Per., stems to 3 ft., in tussocks to 9″ wide, smooth, often powdery near nodes. Blades flat or folded, rough edges. Infl. 1 ft. long, interrupted, nodding, involucral spikelets to 0.6″ long, bisexual, pedicelled spikelets to 0.4″ long, awn of bisexual spikelets to 2.8″ long, brown, hairy, bent (Hortus Third 1976:1106) Old World trop. & subtrop. (Griffiths 1994:1150) Covers large areas in trop. & S Africa (Willis 1973:1146) Rare in W Africa, but a common & valuable fodder in S & E Africa. Name rooi grass in S Africa (Dalziel 1948:549) Wild in Luzon, N Philippines. Bontoc use stems & lvs. for pigs’ bedding, thatching, water buffalo fodder. Also as fuel for firing pottery (Bodner and Gereau 1988) Anthistiria a.: Queensland (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1893:Queensland). T. australis: This & other spp. may form the principal cover in trop. fire-climax steppe (Mabberley 1998:710) Anthistiria i.: Grows in great luxuriance in the Upper Nile region. In famines furnishes the natives with grain (Sturtevant 1972:53) Species & synonyms valid (GRIN 2006)


POACEAE Themeda villosa

Themeda villosa (Poiret) A. Camus POACEAE

Synonyms: Themeda villosa Durand. & Jackson

SE Asia to Australia; in Malaya along rivers in open places. Rather large grass. Sometimes grows in sheets like lalang, but more lush, and likes the morning dew to lie on it longer. Young shoots contain enough sugar to taste sweet, may be used as a salad. Later lvs. become harsh, little value as fodder. On analysis, below average in feed value. Lower Siam, culms used for bars of bird cages. First class for paper stuff, except that it is difficult to bleach (Burkill 1966:Vol. 2 page 2186) Huge grass, cult. for ornament (Mabberley 1998:710) Valid species (GRIN 2006)



Bodner, C. C. and R. E. Gereau. 1988. A Contribution to Bontoc Ethnobotany. Economic Botany 42(3):307-369.
Burkill, I. 1966. A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula., 2nd ed. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-Operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Dalziel, J. 1948. The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa. Crown Agents, London U.K.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1893, 9th ed., with New American Supplement. The Warner Company, New York NY.
Griffiths, M. 1994. Index of Garden Plants. Royal Horticultural Society, London U.K.
GRIN. 2006. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. (24 July 2006).
Hortus Third. 1976. Hortus Third: A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York NY.
Mabberley, D. 1998. The Plant-Book., 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Gt. Britain.
Sturtevant, E. L. 1972 [1919]. Sturtevant’s Edible Plants of the World. Dover, New York NY.
Willis, J. 1973. A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns., 8th ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.