Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Smut-grass - Sporobolus indicus   (L.) R. Brown
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Sporobolus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(L.) R. Brown
DistributionThroughout most of the state, apparently less often in the Mountains.

Pantropical, the northern limit of native occurrence is debatable and perhaps "obscured by its weedy tendancies" (Weakley 2018). In the U.S. it occurs from southern FL to southeastern VA, TN, AR, and TX; disjunct to NJ. Weakley (2018) shows it as a native species in the Southeast, but the website editors suggest it likely is not native to NC.
AbundanceFrequent to common in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, uncommon in the Mountains.
HabitatDry sandy roadsides, lawns, pastures, disturbed ground.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationSmutgrass stems grow 1-2 feet tall (taller where not mown) from tough, fibrous roots (not rhizomes). The inflorescence is terminal, up to a foot long, very slender, and has many very short branches. From a distance many inflorescences look like unbranched spikes. They upper leaves often are blackish, due to a fungus.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Recent molecular research suggests that Calamovilfa and Spartina are nested deeply within Sporobolus. Weakley (2020) proposes that they remain split until a long-term solution is found, as their members are monophyletic.
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Global RankG5
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