Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Silky Oatgrass - Danthonia sericea   Nuttall
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Danthonia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionAcross the state, including the northern Outer Banks. Doubtless occurs in all 100 counties.

NJ, KY, and AR, south to northwestern FL and LA.
AbundanceCommon, locally abundant; slightly less numerous in some far eastern counties.
HabitatDry to xeric or mesic upland woodlands (pine-hardwood, pine-oak sandhills, hardwood), forest openings, roadsides, powerlines, old fields, rock outcrops, bluffs. Some populations (at least in the Sandhills) inhabit moist soils of streamhead ecotones.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-July.
IdentificationThe relatively short leaves are mostly at ground level in a tuft and are hairy. Stems grow 2-4.5 feet, with a terminal inflorescence and spikelets with conspicuous awns. Lemmas are strongly pilose on the margins and usually also on the backs. This is a very handsome grass. See D. epilis for ID criteria.
Taxonomic CommentsSee also D. epilis, which is lumped here by some authors (e.g., FNA). Where authors include that taxon as a variety, by default this taxon becomes D. sericea var. sericea.

Other Common Name(s)Downy Oatgrass
State RankS5
Global RankG5?
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B.A. SorrieGrassy roadside, May 2010. MoorePhoto_natural
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