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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Brief

Flowering class: Monocot Habit: Herb
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Description

Sporobolus virginicus is a low-growing vigorous perennial grass that spreads by rhizomes. The height ranges from 4 to 8 inches tall. Roots can grow down to 18” deep. Leaves are 1-4” long and 0.04-0.12” wide with distinctly two ranked and salt crystals common on leaves and stems. The leaf sheath is overlapping and hairy at the throat. Its inflorescence is dense and spike-like. The panicle, 3” long, is shorter than other Sporobolus species.

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Alternative names

Aki aki, aki, mahiki, mahikihiki, manienie, manienie aki aki, manienie mahikihiki, manienie maoli, seashore rushgrass, marshgrass, crabgrass, beach dropseed.

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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"
Global Distribution

Tropics and subtropics throughout the World

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: Alappuzha, Idukki, Kannur, Kollam

"
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Distribution: Pakistan (Sind); tropics and subtropics throughout the world.
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Distributed in tropical Asia, Africa and America.
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Distribution: Pakistan (Punjab); India, Burma, Sri Lanka; Indo-China.
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Distribution and adaptation

S. virginicus is commonly found in coastal dune habitats and it does best if sea water level fluctuates from 2 inches above soil surface to 6 inches below. It also does well in a variety of different soils from clays to sands. Being a plant that is adapted to low rainfall and high salinity, S. virginicus is fairly wide spread throughout the tropical regions and is native to the Pacific Islands Region as well as the continental United States. It also occurs in Africa, western seaboard of India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Rhizomes present, Rhizome short and compact, stems close, Rhizome elongate, creeping, stems distant, Stolons or runners present, Stems trailing, spreading or prostrate, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems mat or turf forming, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 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 hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath hairy at summit, throat, or collar, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glab rous, Leaf blades more or less hairy, Ligule present, Ligule a fringe of hairs, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence a contracted panicle, narrowly paniculate, branches appressed or ascending, Inflorescence a dense slender spike-like panicle or raceme, branches contracted, 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 less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 1 fertile floret, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes distinctly unequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes 1 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 1 nerve d, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma awnless, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Plants sterile, few or no mature seeds produced, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.
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Dr. David Bogler

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Description

Perennial, spreading by long slender rhizomes; culms 10-30 cm high, 1-2 mm in diameter at the base. Leaf-blades nearly always convolute, 2-10 cm long, 1-4 mm wide, distichous, stiff, pungent. Panicle spike-like, linear, 2-10 cm long, (3-) 6-8(-l0) mm wide, untidily cylindrical, the branches closely appressed to the rhachis and 5-15 mm long. Spikelets 1.7-2.5 mm long; lower glume lanceolate, 1.2-2 mm long, two-thirds to four-fifths as long as the spikelet (variable even in the same panicle), acute; upper glume narrowly ovate-elliptic, as long as the spikelet, acute; lemma as long as the upper glume; anthers 3, 1-1.3 mm long. Grain subglobose, 0.7 mm long.
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Description

Perennial with long, tough, yellowish rhizomes. Culms erect or decumbent, often fastigiately branched in upper part, 15–30 cm tall, 1–2 mm thick. Leaf sheaths tightly overlapping, loosely pubescent at mouth; leaf blades glaucous, stiff, distichous, flat at first, soon involute, 3–10 × 0.1–0.3 cm, adaxial surface scabrid, abaxial surface smooth, apex pungent; ligule ca. 0.2 mm. Panicle linear, spikelike, 3–10 × 0.4–1 cm; branches 0.5–1.5 cm, erect, appressed to rachis. Spikelets gray-green or greenish yellow, fusiform, 2.3–2.7 mm; glumes acute; lower glume lanceolate, 2/3–4/5 spikelet length, 1-veined; upper glume narrowly ovate, as long as spikelet, 1-veined; lemma broadly lanceolate, subequal to upper glume, midvein distinct, lateral veins obscure, obtuse; palea equaling lemma. Anthers 3, 1–1.5 mm. Grain subglobose, ca. 0.7 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Sep. 2n = 18.
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Description

Culm genticulate at the basal nodes. Blades coriaceous, needle-like at the end, about 6 cm long by 1-1.5 mm wide; ligule about 0.2 mm long, upper margin and backside ciliate. Inflorescence a contracted panicle, about 8 cm long. Spikelets 1-flowered, about 2.5 mm long; glumes chartaceous; the lower about 1.2 mm long, lanceolate, irregularly toothed at the apex, nerveless; the upper lanceolate, 1-nerved, acute; lemma and palea the same texture with the glume; lemma ovate lanceolate, 1-nerved, boat-shaped, about 2 mm long; palea ovate 2-keeled, truncate at the apex. Fruit an utricle, about 1 mm long; embryo more than 1/2 the length of the utricle.
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Description

Glaucous sward-forming perennial with leafy stolons up to 45 cm long; culms erect or ascending, 7-30 cm high, swollen and knotted at the base. Leaf-blades usually convolute, sometimes flat, 0.5-3(5) cm long, 0.4-1.7 mm wide, distichous, stiff, pungent. Panicle spike-like, linear, 1.5-8 cm long, 3-5 mm wide, untidily cylindrical, the branches closely appressed to the rhachis and 2.5-12 mm long. Spikelets 1.4-2.1 mm long; lower glume lanceolate, 0.8-1.4 mm long, three-fifths to four-fifths the length of the spikelet (but variable even in the same panicle), acute; upper glume narrowly ovate-elliptic, three-quarters to as long as the spikelet, acute; lemma as long as the upper glume or slightly longer; anthers 3, 0.8-0.9 mm long. Grain broadly oblong, 0.7-0.9 mm long.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Perennials. Culms stoloniferous, creeping and spreading by long, slender rhizomes, 15-60 cm long; nodes glabrous. Leaves 4-18 x 0.3-0.6 cm, lanceolate, base rounded, apex acuminate, inrolled; sheaths to 5 cm long; ligule a row of hairs. Panicles 5-12.5 cm long, narrow, somewhat appressed to rachis. Spikelets c. 2 mm long, lanceolate. Lower glume 1-2 mm long, lanceolate. Upper glume c. 2 mm long, ovate-lanceolate. Lemma c. 2 mm long, lanceolate. Palea 1-2 mm long, elliptic, delicate. Stamens 3; anthers brownish. Stigmas white."
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Synonym

Agrostis virginica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 63. 1753; Vilfa virginica (Linnaeus) P. Beauvois.
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Type Information

Type fragment for Agrostis littoralis Lam.
Catalog Number: US 76275
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. B. A. Lamarck
Locality: "South America", South America
  • Type fragment: Lamarck, J. B. A. 1791. Tabl. Encycl. 1: 161.
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Ecology

Habitat

General Habitat

Grasslands and mangrove forests
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Habitat & Distribution

Sandy seashores, often below high tide mark. Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan, Zhejiang [India, Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; tropics and subtropics].
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Depth range based on 8 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.5 - 0.5
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Dispersal

Establishment

Although S. virginicus does produce seed, very little of it is viable. The only practical way to propagate it is by vegetative rhizomatous slips. Actively growing slips should be selected for propagation. Cut back increase-plots to initiate active growth. Cut rhizomatous slips 3-4’ long and plant in sterile, well drained medium such as Sunshine4TM potting mix which has worked well. Place propagules under 50% shade and keep planting medium moist. Once the slips begin to take, it is recommended that time-release fertilizer supplements be added. After 2 months, place propagules in full sunlight to harden off. Propagules should be ready to plant within 3-4 months.

Britton & Brown (1913); from plants.usda.gov

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: July-September
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sporobolus virginicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Threats

Pests and potential problems

Despite its wide range throughout subtropical and tropical regions of the world, S. virginicus it believed to be pest free.

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

None available at this time. No known commercial source.

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Environmental concerns

None.

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Sporobolus virginicus is a low maintenance conservation plant. Because it is very drought tolerant, water requirements are relatively low. It is recommended, though, that irrigation be applied during the first 1-2 months after transplanting to help establish plots. S. virginicus is also adapted to low fertility soils, although nutrient amendments according to soil tests would be beneficial for rapid establishment.

If forage production is desired, no more than half of the growth should be removed by grazing. Summer grazing deferments of at least 120 days are important to maintain good vigor. Controlled burning of this grass will result in lush, tender forage for winter grazing. Burning should be done no more than every 2 years. Allow 4 inches of re-growth after burning before grazing.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Conservation:

Sporobolus virginicus does very well as a dune stabilizer. It has potential for stream bank stabilization and also roadside slope stabilization.

Cultural:

In some places S. virginicus is medicinally used to relieve urinary irritation and throat irritation.

Wildlife:

Many native seabirds find shelter and build nests in coastal stands of S. virginicus. It also provides excellent winter food for wild geese.

Forage:

S. virginicus has high protein and mineral content and is readily grazed by cattle.

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Wikipedia

Sporobolus virginicus

Sporobolus virginicus, known by numerous common names including marine couch, sand couch, salt couch grass, saltwater couch, coastal rat-tail grass, and nioaka, is a species of grass with a wide distribution.

Description[edit]

It is a spreading perennial tussock grass from 10 to 50 centimetres in height. Its flowers are green or purple. It reproduces asexually by use of both stolons and rhizomes.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

It was originally published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, under the name Agrostis virginicus. It was transferred into Sporobolus by Karl Sigismund Kunth in 1829. It has a great many synonyms.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It grows in Australia, New Zealand, many Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Africa, India, China and Indonesia. It is widespread in Australia, occurring in every state, although in New South Wales it is considered naturalised.[3]

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Notes

Comments

Sporobolus tremulus is very similar to Sporobolus virginicus, differing by its slightly shorter spikelets, relatively shorter glumes, less robust culms, shorter, finer leaves and narrower oblong grain. It is less of a halophyte than Sporobolus virginicus and is as likely to be found at the margins of paddy fields and in scrub as on the sea-shore and in mangrove swamps. It is an excellent soil-binder and may prove to be a useful fodder grass. Although only one specimen has been seen from Pakistan, it is said to be common in the plains.
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Comments

A plant of sandy sea-shores; rarely on saline soils inland.
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Comments

This species is a good sand binder. It is widespread on seashores and in inland, saline places in warm parts of both the Old and New Worlds.
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Comments

This is a common coastal grass growing along seashores in delta regions.
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