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Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth

feathertop reed grass

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Where native and non-native distributions co-occur in a county, only the native distribution is shown.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Feathertop reed grass is native to Europe, Africa and Asia, and introduced in Australia and North and South America. It is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental grass, and is also used in revegetation and erosion control projects. In New England it has been collected in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
Leaf blade width
2.5–13 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
4–8 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
  • the glume has an awn
  • the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
1.5–4 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
1.5–13 mm
Anther length
1–2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1–2 mm
    Anther number
    Up to 3
    Awn on glume
    • the glume has an awn
    • the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret number
    1
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    140–350 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Inforescence position
    the spikelets are mainly carried at the end of the stem
    Lemma awn base
    the awn is attached at the upper half of the lemma
    Lemma awn length
    1.5–4 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma awn orientation
    the awn of the lemma on dried or older plants is curved or bent outwards
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma has hairs at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    One or more florets
    there is one floret per spikelet
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    4–8 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
  • Leaves
    Leaf blade width
    2.5–13 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    1.5–13 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the leaf sheath does not quite meet at the opposite side of the stem
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
absent
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Calamagrostis cinnoides

Family

Poaceae

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Calamagrostis epigejos (L.) Roth var. georgica (K. Koch) Ledeb. E

feathertop reed grass. MA, RI. Fields, roadsides, disturbed soil.