Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Prairie Wedgescale - Sphenopholis obtusata   (Michaux) Lamson-Scribner
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Michaux) Lamson-Scribner
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, and most of the Piedmont and Outer Banks/barrier islands; scattered in the Mountains.

ME to MN and B.C., south to FL, TX, and CA; Mex.
AbundanceCommon in the Coastal Plain, Sandhills, and eastern/central Piedmont; rare to uncommon in the western part of the state. No doubt our most commonly observed wedgescale.
HabitatOpen woodlands, forest openings, glades, open ledges, roadsides, powerlines.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-June.
IdentificationPrairie Wedgescale and Slender Wedgescale (S. intermedia) differ from our other 3 wedgescale species in having more compact inflorescences with strongly ascending branches. The shape of the inflorescence of Prairie Wedgescale is narrowly elliptical or even cylindrical, whereas Slender Wedgescale's inflorescence is more open ("intermediate" in shape to the other 3 species, but with spikelets more densely arranged). The second glume of Prairie Wedgescale is 1-3 times as long as wide (vs. 3-6 times as long as wide in Slender Wedgescale).
Taxonomic CommentsNone. However, S. intermedia has often been included within this species, completely or as a variety.

Other Common Name(s)Prairie Wedgegrass
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorrieOpen roadside, Kelly Plantation Road, NW of Carthage. MoorePhoto_natural
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