Calamagrostis stricta (Timm) Koel.

neglected 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

Neglected reed grass is widespread across most of northern and western North America, but in our region it is rare and protected in most states. In New England it is found only in northern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, where it inhabits boreal to alpine habitat. It has also been recorded in Connecticut and Massachusetts at lower elevations.

Habitat

Alpine or subalpine zones, cliffs, balds, or ledges, mountain summits and plateaus, ridges or ledges, shores of rivers or lakes, talus and rocky slopes, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
1–6 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2–5 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
1.5–2.5 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
0.5–6 mm
Anther length
0.9–2.4 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    0.9–2.4 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 crowding
    the panicle is somewhat to very congested (crowded), and the branches may not be clearly seen without close inspection
    Inflorescence length
    20–290 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
    1.5–2.5 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma awn orientation
    • the awn of the lemma is straight
    • 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
    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 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
    1–6 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.5–6 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
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • alpine or subalpine zones
    • cliffs, balds, or ledges
    • mountain summits and plateaus
    • ridges or ledges
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • talus or rocky slopes
    • woodlands
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

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

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
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.

Connecticut
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Maine
rare (S-rank: S2)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. inexpansa

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), threatened (code: T)
Maine
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
New Hampshire
rare (S-rank: S2), threatened (code: T)
Vermont
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)

ssp. stricta

Maine
rare (S-rank: S2), threatened (code: T)
New Hampshire
historical (S-rank: SH), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Calamagrostis pickeringii:
callus hairs scant, 0.5-1 mm long, and lemma awns bent (vs. C. stricta, with callus hairs moderately dense, mostly 1.5-3 mm long, and lemma awns straight or bent)
Calamagrostis canadensis:
panicle loose and open, mostly 20-80 mm wide, lemma with dense callus pubescence mostly 90-120% as long as the lemma, and lemma awn smooth, at least in the basal half (vs. C. stricta, with panicle contracted and dense, mostly 10-20 mm wide, lemma with moderately dense callus pubescence usually 50-75% as long as the lemma, and lemma awn antrorsely scabrous throughout its length).

Family

Poaceae

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Subspecies inexpansa is known from CT, ME, NH, VT. Subspecies stricta is known from ME, NH, VT. Though many named variants exist for ssp. inexpansa, two of these forms that occur in New England may warrant recognition. The “ lacustris” variant has lower leaf sheaths minutely pubescent on the collar and relatively stout lemma awns with 1 or 2 twists. The “ inexpansa” variant has glabrous leaf sheath collars and slender to stout lemmas with 0–1 twists.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

5.  Calamagrostis stricta (Timm) Koel. NC

neglected reed grass.  5a. Calamagrostis fernaldii Louis-Marie; C. inexpansa Gray; 
 C. inexpansa Gray var. novae-angliae Stebbins; C. lacustris (Kearney) Nash; C. stricta (Timm) 
Koel. var. brevior Vasey; Deyeuxia neglecta (Ehrh.) Kunth var. americana Vasey in Macoun;  
5b. Arundo neglecta Ehrh.; Calamagrostis neglecta (Ehrh.) P.G. Gaertn.  et al.; C. neglecta P.G. Gaertn.  et al. ssp. stricta (Timm) Tzvelev; Deyeuxia neglecta (Ehrh.) Kunth • CT, ME, NH, VT; northern portion of states. Mainly in boreal to alpine settings ( CT and MA occurrences excepted), such as streambeds, talus slopes, ridges, rock outcrops, ledges, ice-scoured river shores, lake shores, woodlands, and high-elevation cliffs and plateaus.

1a.  Leaf blades 3–6 mm wide, ± flat, scabrous; ligules 3–6 mm long, erose at the apex; glumes 3–6 mm long, thick and opaque; callus hairs 65–100% as long as the lemma; panicles 6–20 cm tall; anthers degenerate and lacking pollen … 5a. C. stricta ssp. inexpansa (Gray) C.W. Greene

1b.  Leaf blades 2–4 mm wide, involute, scabrous only on the margins and near the apex; ligules 1–3 mm long, entire at the apex; glumes 2–4.5 mm long, translucent at least on the margins and near the apex; callus hairs 50–75% as long as the lemma; panicles 5–12 cm tall; anthers containing pollen … 5b. C. stricta ssp. stricta

Subspecies inexpansa is known from CT, ME, NH, VT. Subspecies stricta is known from ME, NH, VT. Though many named variants exist for ssp. inexpansa, two of these forms that occur in New England may warrant recognition. The “ lacustris” variant has lower leaf sheaths minutely pubescent on the collar and relatively stout lemma awns with 1 or 2 twists. The “ inexpansa” variant has glabrous leaf sheath collars and slender to stout lemmas with 0–1 twists.