Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Big Carpetgrass - Axonopus furcatus   (Fluegge) A.S. Hitchcock
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Fluegge) A.S. Hitchcock
DistributionCoastal Plain, westward in the Piedmont to counties on the SC border (to Gaston County); apparently not in the Sandhills.

MD to FL, TX, and AR; Coastal Plain and Piedmont.
AbundanceUncommon to infrequent throughout.
HabitatRoadsides, sandy woodlands, lake- and impoundment shores, margin of pond within maritime forest (Dare County). Quite varied habitats, yet nonetheless not at all numerous despite such broad habitats occupied.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationBig Carpetgrass is more-or-less mat-forming from slender horizontal rhizomes. The stems are erect, 1-3 feet tall (where not mown), topped by an inflorescence of 2 (-4) ascending to spreading, narrow branches, with the spikelets tightly pressed to the branches. Sometimes it also has an additional inflorescence from a leaf axil lower down on the stem. Axonopus fissifolius is very similar, but the spikelets of Big Carpetgrass are 3.5-5.5 mm long (vs. 1.6-2.8 mm long in A. fissifolius). Paspalum vaginatum superficially is very similar, but its leaves are arranged in 2 ranks (vs. several ranks in Big Carpetgrass) and its spikelets are only 2.5-3 mm long.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3
Global RankG5
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