Calamagrostis pickeringii Gray

Pickering's reed grass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Pickering's reed grass is endemic to a small area of northeastern North America, including portions of New England, where it is a very rare plant of bogs, gravel river shores, shores of small ponds, usually at higher elevations, and peaty meadows.

Habitat

Alpine or subalpine zones, bogs, meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
2–7 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2.5–4.5 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
4.5–9 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
2–5 mm
Anther length
1.3–2.9 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1.3–2.9 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret number
    1
    Floret types within spikelet
    all the florets within a spikelet are similar
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    3.5–15 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 coiled
    the lemma awn is straight or twisted, but not coiled one half turn
    Lemma awn length
    4.5–9 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma awn orientation
    the awn of the lemma is straight
    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
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    the lemma tip is split into two or more points
    Lemma vein number
    5
    One or more florets
    there is one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is an extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    2.5–4.5 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    2–7 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    2–5 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    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
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • alpine or subalpine zones
    • bogs
    • meadows or fields
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    • the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts
    • the stems grow singly or a few together (they may form diffuse colonies)

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Maine
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), threatened (code: T)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Calamagrostis stricta:
callus hairs moderately dense, mostly 1.5-3 mm long, and lemma awns straight or bent (vs. C. pickeringii, with callus hairs scant, 0.5-1 mm long, and lemma awns bent).

Synonyms

  • Calamagrostis pickeringii Gray var. debilis (Kearney) Fern. & Wieg.
  • Deyeuxia pickeringii (Gray) Vasey

Family

Poaceae

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Calamagrostis pickeringii Gray NC

Pickering’s reed grass. Calamagrostis pickeringii Gray var. debilis (Kearney) Fern. & Wieg.; Deyeuxia pickeringii (Gray) Vasey • MA, ME, NH, VT. Bogs, gravel river shores, open alpine and subalpine areas, shores of small, usually mid- to high elevation, ponds, peaty meadows.