Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bearded Skeleton-grass - Gymnopogon ambiguus   (Michaux) Britton, Sterns, & Poggenburg
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Gymnopogon with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Michaux) Britton, Sterns, & Poggenburg
DistributionMostly Piedmont, Sandhills, and Coastal Plain; scattered in the Mountains; rare on the Outer Banks and the neighboring mainland.

NJ to OH and KS, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceFrequent to common, except uncommon in the Mountains/foothills. Very rare to rare in the tidewater region. Why NatureServe has its Global Rank of G4 instead of the obvious G5 is not clear; it is certainly S5 in NC.
HabitatDry to xeric or mesic, Longleaf Pine uplands, pine-oak-hickory woodlands, openings in woodlands, glades, rock outcrops, old fields, powerlines.
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Glades and Barrens
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThe name of "skeleton-grass" is a good reminder of its appearance. Leaves are concentrated in the lower half of the plant and arranged in 2 ranks. The upper half (or 2/3) of the plant is a very open, airy, inflorescence with widely spreading (often +- horizontal), slender branches. Spikelets are small, scattered along most of each branch, and appressed to the branches. G. brevifolius is very similar, but has fewer spikelets and which occupy only the ends of the branches.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Broadleaf Beardgrass, Eastern Beardgrass
State RankS5
Global RankG4 [G5]
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, Aug 2014. RichmondPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, Aug 2011. RichmondPhoto_natural

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