Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Coastal Bog Bentgrass - Agrostis altissima   (Walter) Tuckerman
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Section 5 » Family Poaceae
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Author(Walter) Tuckerman
DistributionMostly the outer Coastal Plain; a few records in the Sandhills and the lower Piedmont, west only to Stanly County.

Coastal Plain, MA to AL and LA.
AbundanceVery uncommon in the outer Coastal Plain; rare elsewhere. This is a Significantly Rare species.
HabitatWet pine savannas, margins of sinkhole ponds, openings in swamp forests.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting October-November.
IdentificationThe flowering stems of Aristida altissima grow up to 2.5 feet tall. It is very similar to A. perennans, but the stems are mostly stouter, the spikelets are usually longer (mostly 2.7-3.5 mm long vs. 2.2-2.7 mm long), and the lemmas scabrous (vs. smooth in A. perennans).
Taxonomic CommentsA synonym for this species is Agrostis perennans var. elata. Some authors (e.g., FNA) lump this species under A. perennans. It may perhaps be the endpoint of a cline.

Bentgrasses, genus Agrostis, in NC are usually densely cespitose (many stems and basal leaves from a central area). Most leaves are basal, rather short, and slender, often folded lengthwise or involute (rounded in cross-section). Stem leaves are few in number. The inflorescence is open and airy or wispy, with 2-several branches from well-spaced nodes; towards their ends, these branches are again branched and support the spikelets. Spikelets each contain only a single floret, with 2 glumes (outer scale-like bodies) and one lemma (inner scale-like body) and a central fruit or seed. Glumes and lemmas are sharp pointed. Lemmas may or may not have a projecting awn. In grasses, the fruit is called a caryopsis or a grain; it is composed of the seed and a tightly fitting envelope (or pericarp).
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2
Global RankG4
State StatusSR-T
US Status
USACE-agcp
USACE-emp
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