Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Florida Paspalum - Paspalum floridanum   Michaux
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Paspalum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionAcross the state, except scarce in the Mountains.

NJ to KS, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceFrequent to common throughout, except rare to uncommon in the Mountains.
HabitatMost NC records are from open roadsides and woodland openings, the soil dry to moist. Also found in pine-wiregrass woodlands and savannas, and prairie-like areas.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationThis is our tallest (to 5 feet high) and most robust crowngrass. Most populations are glaucescent throughout and glabrous, while others are olive-green, and pilose on leaf sheaths and blades. The two populations occur in most of the same habitats, but do not grow together, as far as is known.
Taxonomic CommentsPilose plants have been treated as var. floridanum, the glabrous plants as var. glabratum. We lump them here, since they occupy the same range and habitats; Weakley (2018) also does not consider them as distinct.

Paspalum is a genus of more than 300 species, found mostly in the New World. The genus is quite easily identified by the neat row of spikelets along each side of a flattened rachis (inflorescence branch), and also by the hemispherical outline of each spikelet. In some species there are only 2 such inflorescence branches, paired at the stem summit; in most of our species there are 3-4 branches; and in a few there may be many. Keys ask whether spikelets are paired or not -- that is, at each node on each side of the rachis there are pairs of spikelets on tiny stalklets. Care must be taken with a hand lens to make sure there are 2 stalklets at each node, as frequently one of the two spikelets will not grow. Non-paired or single spikelets will clearly have only a single stalklet per node.
Other Common Name(s)None. Surprisingly, no references seem to use Florida Crowngrass as a common name, even though species in the genus Paspalum are generally known as crowngrasses.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieSame data. Both images are var. floridanum. AnsonPhoto_natural
B.A. SorriePee Dee NWR, dry-mesic woods, Sept 2014. AnsonPhoto_natural
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