Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Tracy's Bluestem - Andropogon tracyi   Nash
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Andropogon with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionSandhills, and scattered eastward on the Coastal Plain, with isolated northern records from Granville County (eastern Piedmont) and Gates County (northern Coastal Plain). Probably overlooked.

Coastal Plain, NC to southern FL and southern MS.
AbundanceRare to uncommon. This species often goes undetected even when present. This is a Watch List species.
HabitatDry to mesic (even xeric) Longleaf Pine uplands, mesic flats, and depressions, often where soils are loamy sand or clayey sand.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October.
IdentificationTracy's Bluestem is one of the more difficult bluestems to identify and care must be taken when using keys. In general, it has short stems (in NC only about 2 feet tall, rarely 3 feet) and resembles a small Broomsedge (A. virginicus) or Splitbeard Bluestem (A. ternarius). From the former it readily differs in having 1 anther (vs. 3 in that common species); from the latter by having narrower leaves and far fewer raceme clusters per stem.
Taxonomic CommentsSubsumed within A. virginicus (broad sense) as far back as RAB (1968); thus, some botanists may not be familiar with the species (and quite a few other Andropogon species more recently pulled out from that overly large and broad species complex).

While the genus Andropogon is quite easy to recognize in the field, ID of species is not so easy and there are no shortcuts. Readers are strongly advised to read the introductory paragraphs in Weakley (2018) and to use his key. Once one has successfully keyed out several species, or compared collections with verified specimens, one can learn to recognize them in the field.
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2
Global RankG4?
State StatusW7
US Status
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B.A. SorrieHarnett County, 1992, Northern Training Area, Fort Bragg. HarnettPhoto_natural
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