Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Carpetgrass - Axonopus fissifolius   (Raddi) Kuhlmann
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Raddi) Kuhlmann
DistributionMostly Coastal Plain, including the Outer Banks/barrier islands; also scattered in the Sandhills and Piedmont. Absent from the mountains.

Coastal Plain and Piedmont, southeastern VA to southern FL, southeastern TX, and northern AR.
AbundanceFrequent on the landscape in the Coastal Plain; uncommon westward in the Piedmont to Catawba and Polk counties. Absent in the mountains and probably in much of the northwestern Piedmont.
HabitatDry roadsides, lawns, fields, sandy woodlands, openings in maritime forests.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-October.
IdentificationCommon Carpetgrass is more-or-less mat-forming from slender horizontal rhizomes. The slender stems grow erect, 1-2 feet tall (where not mown), topped by an inflorescence of 2 ascending to spreading, slender branches, with spikelets tightly pressed to the branches. Sometimes also it has an additional inflorescence from a leaf axil lower down on the stem. Axonopus furcatus is very similar but it has spikelets that are 3.5-5.5 mm long (vs. 1.6-2.8 mm long in A. fissifolius).
Taxonomic CommentsA synonym is A. affinis Chase.

Other Common Name(s)Narrowleaf Carpetgrass, Caratao Grass, Louisiana Grass
State RankS4? [S4]
Global RankG5
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