Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Wireleaf Dropseed - Sporobolus teretifolius   R.M. Harper
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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AuthorR.M. Harper
DistributionSouthern outer Coastal Plain. Restricted to Brunswick and Columbus counties. Most of the county records in RAB (1968) for Sporobolus teretifolius are actually for S. pinetorum.

Coastal Plain, extreme southern NC to southern GA and southeastern AL.
AbundanceRare and local. The NCNHP database actually has 10 records, enough for an S2 State Rank. However, all sites are rather close to each other, not far from the Waccamaw River, and thus their rank of S1 seems suitable. Individual populations may be locally dominant. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatWet Longleaf Pine savannas and flatwoods, especially over marl substrate.
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Sandy, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-September. Probably dependent on fire to produce flowering stems.
IdentificationWireleaf Dropseed is a tussock-former and much resembles Carolina Wiregrass (Aristida stricta), but of course the inflorescences are entirely different. Both have leaves that are terete -- tightly rolled lengthwise -- but Wireleaf Dropseed has a tuft of hairs at the base of each leaf (vs. a long line of short hairs in Wiregrass). Leaves of Wireleaf Dropseed cannot be spread flat, whereas those of Wirgrass can.
Taxonomic CommentsNone, but note that most records formerly attributed to it in NC are actually for S. pinetorum.

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.
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS1
Global RankG2
State StatusE
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieColumbus County, 1993, Old Dock Savanna. ColumbusPhoto_natural
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