Corynephorus canescens (L.) Beauv.

gray club-awn 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

Gray club-awn grass is of European origin, and is introduced in North America, probably due to being cultivated as a small, clumping ornamental. Escapes have spread fairly recently in portions of northeastern and northwestern North America. As yet it is a rare visitor to New England, colonizing sites in Massachusetts with sandy and disturbed soil.

Habitat

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

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
0.3–1 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2.9–4.3 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 more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
2.3–2.7 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
2–4 mm
Anther length
1.4–1.6 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1.4–1.6 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    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
    15–140 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 lower half of the lemma (it emerges from near the base of the lemma)
    Lemma awn length
    2.3–2.7 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has one awn on it
    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
    1
    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 an extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    2.9–4.3 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    0.3–1 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    2–4 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
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    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

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
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

Trisetum spicatum:
leaf blades 1-5 mm wide and lemma awns comprised not comprised of two distinct parts and without a ring of cilia near the middle of the awn (vs. C. canescens, with leaf blades up to 1 mm wide and lemma awn comprised of two distinct and dissimilar parts with a ring of cilia near the middle at the articulation point).

Synonyms

  • Aira canescens L.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Corynephorus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Corynephorus canescens (L.) Beauv. E

gray club-awn grass. Aira canescens L. • MA. Sandy soil of fields, roadsides, and clearings.