Echinochloa walteri (Pursh) Heller

coast barnyard 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

Coast barnyard grass is a native grass of southeastern New England, where it inhabits shorelines and upper edges of saltmarshes and other low, wet areas. The species is named for Thomas Walter (1740-1789), an American botanist who produced the first complete catalog of the plants of South Carolina (the heart of the range for this grass).

Habitat

Brackish or salt marshes and flats, floodplain (river or stream floodplains), shores of rivers or lakes, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
Leaf blade width
10–60 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
3–5 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 more than one floret per spikelet
  • there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0–60 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
  • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, and some of the hairs have blisters at their bases
  • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
0 mm
Anther length
0.6–1.2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    0.6–1.2 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    • the glume has an awn
    • the glume has no awn
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is hard and firm
    Floret number
    1–2
    Floret types within spikelet
    • NA
    • there are at least two distinct forms of florets within one spikelet
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume shape
    the glume is flat or curved in cross-section
    Glume veins
    • 0
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    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
    85–350 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
    • NA
    • the awn is attached right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn length
    0–60 mm
    Lemma awn number
    • the lemma has no awn
    • 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 a simple point, with or without an awn (long narrow extension ending in a point)
    Lemma vein number
    5
    One or more florets
    • there is more than one floret per spikelet
    • there is 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
    3–5 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    10–60 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is absent
    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 hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, and some of the hairs have blisters at their bases
    • 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
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    Specific habitat
    • brackish or salt marshes and flats
    • edges of wetlands
    • river or stream floodplains
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Hairs at nodes
    the stem nodes have hairs that stand out at a shallow angle, or they curve downwards
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Massachusetts
fairly widespread (S-rank: S4)
New Hampshire
historical (S-rank: SH), endangered (code: E)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Echinochloa muricata:
sheaths glabrous and lower nodes glabrous or sparsely pubescent with short hairs (vs. E. walterai, with lower sheaths hispid with pustulose-based hairs and lower 1 or 2 nodes evidently pubescent with long, erect-ascending to spreading-ascending hairs).

Synonyms

  • Panicum walteri Pursh

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Echinochloa

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

5.  Echinochloa walteri (Pursh) Heller N

coast barnyard grass. Panicum walteri Pursh • CT, MA, NH, RI. Shorelines, upper borders of saline and brackish marshes, low, wet areas.