Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bearded Shorthusk - Brachyelytrum erectum   (Schreber) Beauvois
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Brachyelytrum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Schreber) Beauvois
DistributionMostly low elevations in the Mountains and in the Piedmont; scattered and localized on the Coastal Plain. Absent from the Sandhills proper.

MA to southern WI, south to northwestern FL and eastern TX.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Mountains, fairly common in the Piedmont; rare in the Coastal Plain, south only to Jones and Cumberland counties. Plants tend to form patches via slender underground rhizomes. The wide range in the state suggests that the State Rank should be S5, instead of S4.
HabitatMoist to mesic soil of deciduous and mixed forests, including upper margins of floodplains, bottomlands, hardwood slopes, pine-hardwoods. Coastal Plain occurrences are either in calcium-influenced soils or nutrient-rich soils of brownwater rivers.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-September.
IdentificationThe stems grow 1-3 feet tall and lean over nearly parallel to the ground, with well-spaced leaves that taper to a fine point and are 3.5-7 inches long. The inflorescence is mostly 4-7 inches long, composed of strongly ascending spikelets with very long awns (13-17 mm). B. aristosum is closely similar, but it occurs at higher altitudes in the mountains in northern hardwoods and spruce-fir forests. See that species for other differences.
Taxonomic CommentsNone, though B. aristosum has often been included within this species, generally as a variety.

Other Common Name(s)Long-awned Wood-grass, Southern Long-awned Wood-grass
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
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B.A. SorrieSame data. Stems and leaves. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorriePiedmont, Triassic Basin, mesic slope by Killets Creek, Sept 2015. MoorePhoto_natural
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