Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for White Cutgrass - Leersia virginica   Willdenow
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Leersia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionThroughout the state, including the Outer Banks and barrier islands. The gap in southern Coastal Plain and Sandhills is due to a lack of high-nutrient rivers (except the Cape Fear, Deep, and Pee Dee rivers).

Que. to MN and SD, south to central FL and TX.
AbundanceCommon, but may not be perceived so in the field, due to its small size and late blooming.
HabitatMore-or-less nutrient-rich floodplain forests and bottomlands (mostly brownwater systems), interdune swamp forests, lower slopes of adjacent hardwood-pine forests.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThe stems are weak and often sprawling, with the upper portion ascending and producing a wispy inflorescence of slender, sparse branches. Looking closely, the tiny spikelets are white, flattened, and with bristly margins. It may occur with the similar-looking Japanese Stilt-grass (Microstegeum vimineum), but that invasive species has larger and green spikelets.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Most references simply call it White Grass; however, this website, Weakley (2018), and a few others prefer to name all Leersia species as xxxxx Cutgrass.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorriePiedmont, upper margin of floodplain forest, Pee Dee River, Aug 2016. RichmondPhoto_natural
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