Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: A Southeastern Coastal Plain endemic, ranging from southeastern North Carolina south to central Florida and west to southern Alabama (Godfrey and Wooten 1979, Weakley 1996).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems with inflorescence 1-2 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades lanceolate, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Ligule present, Ligule a fringed, ciliate, or lobed membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet 3-10 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets with 8-40 florets, Spikelets solitar y at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes keeled or winged, Glumes 3 nerved, Glumes 4-7 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 8-15 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Palea keels winged, scabrous, or ciliate, Stamens 1, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Plants are slenderly rhizomatous and loosely colonial. The axils of the panicle branches and of the spiklets are glabrous. Spikelets mostly 10 mm wide and 15 mm long or so (Godfrey and Wooten 1979).

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Stream and river banks, low moist to wet woodlands, often very abundant in wet hammocks, adjacent ditches and clearings (Godfrey and Wooten 1979). Blackwater swamp forests (Weakley, 1996).

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80

Comments: Chasmanthium nitidum occurs in five states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. There are two occurrences in one county in North Carolina. Documented with herbarium specimens for five counties in Georgia and 28 counties in Florida.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable

Reasons: An estimate of the number of occurrences is below 100. This Southeastern Coastal Plain endemic is rare at the northern and westermost edges of its range in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. It is documented for 28 counties in Florida, but some of the records are based on specimens over 20 years old and the occurrences may no longer exist. It may be threatened by logging, intensive forestry practices, and invasive exotic species.

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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 30%

Global Long Term Trend: Decline of 10-50%

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: It may be threatened by logging, intensive forestry practices, and invasive exotic species.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

Stewardship Overview: Maintain mixed or deciduous forest cover where this plant occurs, avoid conversion of the forest to intensive pine plantation. In cases where logging has occurred, avoid bedding for reforestation site preparation, herbicides used for site preparation should be compatible with native grasses. In some cases invasive exotic plants may threaten populations, and control of the invasive exotic plants would be warranted. This control should be done in a way that does not negatively impact this unusual grass.

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