Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Longspike Fluffgrass - Tridens strictus   (Nuttall) Nash
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Tridens with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Nuttall) Nash
DistributionMostly southern Coastal Plain; disjunct to southeastern Piedmont. The dot for Hoke County in RAB (1968) is not supported by a specimen that editors have seen. Records from east of the Appalachians are not conclusively native, but the Anson County population is from a high quality area of mafic soils and is associated with other rare plants.

VA to IL and southeastern KS, south to northern FL and southeastern TX. Primarily in the southern Great Plains and western Mississippi Embayment.
AbundanceVery rare, rediscovered in 2022 in two intersecting powerlines in Anson County. Previously, last collected in NC in 1957. The Anson pop is spread out and totals >300 culms. This is a State Special Concern - Historical species, which now should be elevated to S1.
HabitatCollected once in 1937 at the margin of Big Savanna, south of railroad, in Pender County; twice in 1957 -- on a roadside in Duplin County and "flat open woods" in Robeson County. Note that the habitats are common in the southern Coastal Plain; is the species simply overlooked (unlikely), or did some other factor cause populations to crash? Perhaps it was sensitive to disturbance, or required fire for its existence. The 2022 Anson County habitat is high quality powerlines with brown mafic rocks at surface and is prairie-like. Associates include Helianthus schweinitzii, Silphium terebinthinaceum, Agave virginica, Asclepias verticillata, Lechea tenuifolia, Paspalum floridanum, Muhlenbergia capillaris.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late August-October.
IdentificationThis tall grass (3-5 feet) has few culm leaves and a compact, spike-like, terminal inflorescence about 6 inches long. Spikelets of this species have 5-11 florets (vs. 3-5 in T. carolinianus). Stem and basal leaves are narrow and elongate, green beneath and glaucescent above.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Longspike Tridens, Spike Triodia. The first name is used by most websites, but this website prefers not to use a genus name for a group common name. The name of Fluffgrass is available as a group common name, and the editors use Longspike Fluffgrass.
State RankSH
Global RankG5
State StatusSC-H
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. SorrieSame data. AnsonPhoto_natural
B.A. SorriePowerlines crossing Pleasant Grove Church Road, 2 Sept 2022. With Becky Dill. AnsonPhoto_natural

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