Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Many-flowered Grass-pink - Calopogon multiflorus   Lindley
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Section 5 » Order Orchidales » Family Orchidaceae
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AuthorLindley
DistributionOnly in the southeastern Coastal Plain counties bordering the Atlantic -- Carteret, Onslow, Pender, and Brunswick. Oddly, the species was not listed in RAB (1968), either for NC or SC. It seems certain that the species was overlooked as another Calopogon species, rather than a major northward spread from FL or GA in the decades after publication.

This is a species of the lower Coastal Plain region, occurring north to coastal NC and south to southern FL, and then west to eastern LA.
AbundanceRare; the NC NHP database lists 7 records from these four counties. Only one or two populations appear to be in moderate to good condition. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatThe species is found mainly in pine savannas in NC, though it may occur along edges of savannas and wetter parts of pine flatwoods.
PhenologyBlooms fairly late for a Calopogon in the Coastal Plain, mainly from April into early June. It fruits shortly after blooming, in May and June.
IdentificationThis showy species has a rather short flowering stem for a Calopogon, mainly about 1 foot tall, at times shorter. It is quite similar to C. barbatus, with usually rose-colored flowers, but that species has at most about 5 flowers, in a more crowded raceme, and the petals are widest nearer the base. C. multiflorus has mostly 8-15 flowers, they are not so crowded on the stem, usually a few flowers are not fully opened when others are, and the petals are wider toward the tip (i.e., are obovate). It tends to bloom later than does C. barbatus, but blooming periods can be influenced by timing of recent burns. C. tuberosus has larger flowers, often 1.5 inches or wider, much more scattered along the stem, and clearly has some in bloom while others are only in bud. C. pallidus flowers are pale pink and widely scattered on the stem, not really a species that can be mistaken for C. multiflorus. The species has one or two grass-like leaves near the base of the stem, certainly not "usable" for identification. When it was first discovered in the state, in 1995, it was apparently disjunct from GA. Since then, biologists in NC and SC have been more alert to locate this species, which had to have been overlooked as C. barbatus for many decades.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Multi-flowered Grass-pink, Manyflower Grass-pink
State RankS1
Global RankG2G3
State StatusE
US Status
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