Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Vasey-grass - Paspalum urvillei   Steudel
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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DistributionFrom the Outer Banks to the lower Piedmont, and sparingly in the mid-upper Piedmont; disjunct to Swain County (Route 28 below Deals Gap).

Native to South America; in N.A. southeastern VA to FL and TX; CA.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the southeastern half of the state, except uncommon in the mid-upper Piedmont and rare in the Mountains.
HabitatMostly in moist soil of roadsides, powerlines, disturbed soil, fields, meadows, ditches.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-October.
IdentificationVasey-grass is our tallest member of the genus and may reach 6 or even 7 feet tall. It has 10-30 inflorescence branches and long-hairy spikelets, so is easy to identify.
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.
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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B.A. SorrieRoadside, route 22 S of High Falls, Sept 2014. MoorePhoto_non_natural
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