Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bahia-grass - Paspalum notatum   Fluegge
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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AuthorFluegge
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, and Piedmont; disjunct to Macon County in the Mountains. Certain to increase its distribution, as it is often used in roadside seed mixes, for erosion control, and as a turf grass.

Native of the New World, from Mex. to northern Argentina; in N.A. from NC and TN to FL and TX.
AbundanceFrequent and becoming common throughout; apparently rare in the Mountains.
HabitatRoadsides, lawn weed, campuses, pastures, disturbed soils. In recent decades it has spread on roadsides and eliminated many more interesting plants, natives and aliens alike. Some roadsides have thus become monocultures.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-October.
IdentificationBahia Grass grows from a tough horizontal rhizome. Culms are erect and usually 1-2 feet tall, topped by 2 inflorescence branches (sometimes 1-3 additional branches below). When flowering, the dark brown anthers stand out.
Taxonomic CommentsPaspalum 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.
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Global RankGNR
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