Eragrostis multicaulis

5. Eragrostis multicaulis Steud. (syn.: E. peregrina Wiegand, E. pilosa (L.) Beauv. subsp. damiensiana (Bonnet) Thell., E. pilosa (L.) Beauv. subsp. multicaulis (Steud.) Tsvelev, E. pilosa var. damiensiana Bonnet) (temp. As.) – A commonly naturalised alien but almost restricted to Flanders. Its naturalisation started slightly later than in Eragrostis minor, also at first around Gent and subsequently in other large cities. Now, both are often found together, chiefly in (sub-) urban areas throughout Flanders. In recent times a further spread into more remote areas has been observed. In Wallonia Eragrostis multicaulis is much more rare. It was first found in Liège, Mons and Tournai but, at least initially, the species remained rather local and ephemeral. However, since 2011 it is increasingly seen, especially as a roadside weed (between cracks in pavement).

Like Eragrostis minor, E. multicaulis spreads fast by traffic but its initial vector of introduction remains unknown. According to Galera & Sudnik-Wójcikowska (2010) it was deliberately introduced in Central-European botanical gardens in the first half of the 19th century (see also Conert 1998).

Eragrostis multicaulis belongs to the E. pilosa-complex and is sometimes reduced to synonymy (Ryves & al. 1996) or treated at subspecific or varietal level under the latter (for extended synonymy, see Conert 1998). In our opinion Eragrostis multicaulis and E. pilosa s.str. are always readily distinguished in Belgium and surely deserve specific recognition (see also van Ooststroom & Reichgelt 1966, Portal 2002a, etc.). As a matter of fact the distinction between Eragrostis cilianensis and E. minor – considered without discussion at specific level in all floras – is often much less straightforward!

Several additional taxa from the Eragrostis pilosa-complex have been recorded from other European countries and at least some are fast spreading in neighbouring countries. Eragrostis pectinacea probably is the least rare [1]. It is usually confined to riverine habitats, especially in France, more recently also in Germany (Scholz & Ristow 2005). Eragrostis albensis H. Scholz, originally described as a neo-endemic taxon from the Elbe-river (Scholz 1995), is now spreading elsewhere in Germany and recently occurred in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia,… (Scholz & al. 2002, Špryňar & Kubát 2004, Michalewska & Nobis 2005, Scholz & Ristow 2005, Hohla & Kleesadl 2006). Both are exceedingly similar to Eragrostis multicaulis and E. pilosa and should be looked for in Belgium as well. Distinguishing features are discussed in the papers cited above.

Finally, Bomble (2011) recently found out that plants from parts of western Germany (surroundings of Aachen, close to the Belgian frontier), in fact differ from Eragrostis multicaulis. They were provisionally named Eragrostis scholzii inedit. and will require further study.

Herbarium specimen

Eragrostis multicaulis, Marke (Kortrijk), urban weed, August 2012, D. Derdeyn Eragrostis multicaulis, Marke (Kortrijk), urban weed, August 2012, D. Derdeyn

Eragrostis multicaulis, Gent, pavement weed, July 2009, F. Verloove

Eragrostis multicaulis, Mortsel, urban weed, November 2011, L. Jansen

Eragrostis multicaulis, inflorescence                       Eragrostis multicaulis, spikelet



[1] A recent Belgian record of Eragrostis pectinacea (Verloove & Vandenberghe 1998) subsequently turned out to be erroneous.

 


Selected literature:

Bomble F.W. (2011) Kritische und wenig bekannte Gefässpflanzenarten im Aachener Raum I. Online Veröff. Bochumer Bot. Ver. 3(8): 97-108. [available online at: http://www.botanik-bochum.de/publ/OVBBV3_8_Bomble_KritischeGefaesspflanzenAachenerRaumI.pdf]. 

Conert H.J. (ed.) (1998) Gustav Hegi Illustrierte Flora von Mitteleuropa. Band I, Teil 3 Poaceae (3.Auflage). Parey Buchverlag, Berlin: XXVII + 898 p.

Dickoré W.B., Lewejohann K. & Urner R. (2009) Neufunde, Bestätigungen und Verluste in der Flora von Göttingen (Süd-Niedersachsen). Florist. Rundbriefe 42: 5-59. 

Feder J. (2008) Das Japanische Liebesgras Eragrostis multicaulis Steud. in den Heidekreisen und im übrigen Nordwestdeutschland (mit Bremen). Florist. Notizen Lüneburger Heide 16: 11-24.

Fischer W. (1993) Eragrostis multicaulis Steudel am Elbufer bei Wittenberg. Verhandlungen des botanischen Vereins von Berlin und Brandenburg 126: 201-202.

Galera H. & Sudnik-Wójcikowska B. (2010) Central European botanic gardens as centres of dispersal of alien plants. Acta Soc. Bot. Polon. 79(2): 147-156.

Geyer H.J., Büscher D., Loos G.H. & Bomholt G. (2011) Rezente Ausbreitung, Ökologie und Vergesellschaftung von Eragrostis multicaulis Steud. (sensu lato) in Westfalen. Decheniana 164: 23--31. 

Guzik J. & Sudnik-Wójcikowska B. (1994) Nowe lub rzadkie w Polsce rośliny synantropijne. 1. Eragrostis multicaulis (Poaceae). Fragm. Flor. Geobot. Ser. Polonica 1: 209-221.

Hohla M. (2006) Neues über die Verbreitung von Eragrostis albensis, E. multicaulis und E. pilosa in Österreich. Linzer biol. Beitr. 38(2): 1233-1253.

Hohla M. & Kleesadl G. (2006) Eragrostis albensis – neu für Österreich – und weitere bemerkenswerte Funde zur Flora von Oberösterreich. Beitr. Naturk. Oberösterreichs 16: 197-202.

Hügin G. (1999) Anmerkungen zur Unterscheidung von Eragrostis multicaulis und Eragrostis pilosa. Botanik und Naturschutz in Hessen 11: 91-93.

Jongepier J.W. (1983) Nieuwe vondsten van Eragrostis minor Host, E. pilosa (L.) Beauv. en andere van oorsprong adventieve grassen in 1982. Gorteria 10: 234-236.

Jung K.-D. (2007) Anmerkungen zu Eragrostis "pilosa" in Darmstadt. Hess. Florist. Briefe 56: 60-61.

Koch S.D. (1974) The Eragrostis pectinacea-pilosa complex in North and Central America. Illinois Biol. Monogr. 48: 1-74.

Koch U. (1992) Eragrostis multicaulis Steudel, ein Neophyt auf Friedhöfen in Deutschland. Florist. Rundbr. 26: 110-111.

Michalewska A. & Nobis M. (2005) Ekspansja Eragrostis albensis (Poaceae) na antropogenicznych siedliskach w poludniowo-wschodniej Polsce. Fragm. Flor. Geobot. Polonica 12: 44-55.

Nobis M. (2009) Eragrostis pilosa (L.) P. Beauv. (Poaceae) in Poland. Biodiversity: Research and Conservation 13: 13-16.

Ryves T.B., Clement E.J. & Foster M.C. (1996) Alien grasses of the British Isles. BSBI, London: XX + 181 p.

Scholz H. (1988) Zwei neue Taxa des Eragrostis pilosa-Komplexes (Poaceae). Willdenowia 18: 217-222.

Scholz H. (1995) Eragrostis albensis (Gramineae), das Elb-Liebesgras – ein neuer Neo-Endemit Mitteleuropas. Verh. Bot. Ver. Berlin Brandenburg 128: 73-82.

Scholz H., Mavrodiev E.V. & Alexeev Y.E. (2002) Eragrostis albensis H. Scholz (Poaceae), a new alien species in Russian flora and diagnostics of European species of E. pilosa (L.) Beauv. complex (in Russian). Bjull. Moskovs. Obšč. Isp. Prir., Otd. Biol. 107(3): 74-78.

Scholz H. & Ristow M. (2005) Neue Nachrichten über die Gattung Eragrostis (Gramineae) in Mitteleuropa. Verh. Bot. Ver. Berlin Brandenburg 138: 15-29.

Špryňar P. & Kubát K. (2004) Eragrostis albensis a E. pectinacea, dva nové cizí druhy trav pro kvĕtenu České republiky (Poaceae). Zprávy Čes. Bot. Společ. 39: 1-24.

Van der Meijden R. & Weeda E.J. (1982) Eragrostis pilosa (L.) Beauv. en E. minor Host in Nederland. Gorteria 11: 106-113.

Van Landuyt W. (2006b) Eragrostis pilosa. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de Flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels Gewest. Instituut voor natuur- en bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 378.

Van Landuyt W., Verloove F. & Heyneman G. (2002) Verspreiding en status van Eragrostis-soorten in de omgeving van Gent. Dumortiera 79: 3-8.

Van Ooststroom S.J. & Reichgelt Th.J. (1966) Aanwinsten voor de Nederlandse adventief-flora, 9. Gorteria 3: 51-59.

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Verloove F. & Vandenberghe C. (1998) Nieuwe en interessante voederadventieven voor de Belgische flora, hoofdzakelijk in 1997. Dumortiera 72: 18-36.

Wattendorff J. (2002) Das Behaarte Liebesgras, Eragrostis pilosa (L.) P. B., neu in Stadt und Kanton Freiburg (Schweiz). Bull. Soc. Fribourg. Sc. Nat. 91: 125-128.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith