Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Carolina Dropseed - Sporobolus pinetorum   Weakley & P.M. Peterson
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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AuthorWeakley & P.M. Peterson
DistributionSouthern Coastal Plain and Sandhills -- ranging north to Greene, Harnett, and Moore counties.

Endemic to the Coastal Plain, NC to southeastern GA.
AbundanceUncommon on the landscape, though it may be locally abundant.
HabitatWet to mesic Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass savannas and flatwoods, blackwater streamhead ecotones, and adjacent shallow slopes. Occurs in damp acidic soils in association with pine stands.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-September. Responds positively to fire by flowering profusely.
IdentificationCarolina Dropseed is a tussock-former, the tussocks resembling Carolina Wiregrass (Aristida stricta) but are always greener in color (especially noticeable in late summer-fall). The leaves are flat and 1.2-2.5 mm wide, versus involute and a maximum of 1.2 mm wide in Wireleaf Dropseed (S. teretifolius) and Wiregrass. Note that the leaves will become folded lengthwise during extended drought and thus superficially resemble leaves of Wireleaf Dropseed. Note also that neither S. curtissii nor S. floridanus have been verified for NC; see Weakley (2018) for key characters.
Taxonomic CommentsCarolina Dropseed was overlooked or misidentified as other dropseeds (mostly S. teretifolius) until the 1990s.

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)Savanna Dropseed
State RankS3
Global RankG3
State StatusW1
US Status
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B. SorrieSandhills Game Land east of Hoffman. RichmondPhoto_natural
B. SorrieSandhills Game Land east of Hoffman. RichmondPhoto_natural
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