Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Elliott's Bluestem - Andropogon gyrans   W.W. Ashe
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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AuthorW.W. Ashe
DistributionCoastal Plain and Sandhills, infrequent in the Piedmont, but scarce in the low Mountains. Some of the gaps in the map will be filled with additional collecting, and the only likely real gap is in the higher mountains.

NJ to MO south to FL and TX.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Coastal Plain and Sandhills; uncommon in the Piedmont; rare in the Mountains. Perhaps overlooked, however. It is widespread enough over the state to be given a State Rank of S5 by the website editors.
HabitatDry to xeric (sometimes mesic) pine-oak sandhills, pine-oak scrub, woodlands with Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica), clearings, old fields.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October.
IdentificationElliott's Bluestem is relatively easy to identify, due to the elongate stem sheaths that overlap and which hide most of the inflorescence (until late in the season). In other bluestems the stem sheaths are shorter and the inflorescences are readily seen.
Taxonomic CommentsOlder texts included A. perangustatus as A. gyrans var. stenophyllus. It occurs only in wetlands. Older references named A. gyrans as A. elliottii, and the common name has stuck despite the change in scientific names.

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 Rank[S5]
Global RankG5
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