Chloris virgata Sw.

feather windmill-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

Feather windmill-grass is a weedy species with a worldwide distribution and uncertain origins, although it may be native to southern North and Central America. It is found in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate habitats, and is associated with disturbance and roadsides in North America. It rarely enters New England, having been collected only in the waste dumps of nineteenth-century wool-carding factories in Massachusetts and Maine.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
3–15 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
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
2.5–15 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
Up to 4 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret number
    2–3
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    Up to 100 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched and the branches all grow from the same side of the plant and look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    the awn is attached right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn length
    2.5–15 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma has hairs at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is V-shaped if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma marginal vein hairs
    the marginal vein of the lemma has fine hairs on it
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma vein number
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no 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
  • Growth form
    Horizontal rooting stem
    • no
    • yes
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    3–15 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    Up to 4 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • 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 non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Chloris cucullata:
second lemma of spikelet pointed at apex, not widened distally, and plants with stolons (vs. C. virgata, with second lemma of spikelet +/- truncate at the apex, sometimes widely distally, and plants lacking stolons (vs. C. gayana, with ).
Chloris gayana:
second lemma of spikelet pointed at apex, not widened distally, and plants with stolons (vs. C. virgata, with second lemma of spikelet +/- truncate at the apex, sometimes widely distally, and plants usually lacking stolons).

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Chloris

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Chloris virgata Sw. E

Feather windmill-grass. MA, ME. Wool waste.