Schizachne purpurascens (Torr.) Swallen

false melic 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

N/A

Habitat

Forests, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
2–6 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
11.5–17 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
8–15 mm
Leaf ligule length
0.5–1.5 mm
Anther length
1.4–2 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1.4–2 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Bristles below spikelets
    no
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret number
    3–6
    Floret types within spikelet
    all the florets within a spikelet are similar
    Glume awn length
    0 mm
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    Glumes per spikelet
    2
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis bends downwards or hangs
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence branches coming off the lowest stem node
    1–2
    Inflorescence crowding
    • the panicle is somewhat to very congested (crowded), and the branches may not be clearly seen without close inspection
    • the panicle is somewhat to very spread out, with clearly-evident branches
    Inflorescence length
    70–170 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 right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn coiled
    the lemma awn is straight or twisted, but not coiled one half turn
    Lemma awn length
    8–15 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 hairs
    • the lemma has fine hairs between the veins
    • the lemma is hairless between the veins
    Lemma keel hairs
    NA
    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
    7 or more
    Lemma vein orientation
    the veins on the lemma stay roughly parallel throughout
    Lower glume length
    4.2–6.2 mm
    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
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is an extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet disintegration
    the spikelet breaks off above the glumes, so that after the florets fall off, the glumes remain
    Spikelet length
    11.5–17 mm
    Spikelet number per node
    0
    Spikelet pedicel
    the spikelets have pedicels
    Spikelets per panicle branch
    1–3
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Tip of glume
    the tip of the glume is not divided (though it may have an awn on it)
    Upper glume length
    6–9 mm
    Upper glume relative length
    the upper glume is more than one half as long as the lowest lemma
  • Fruits or seeds
    Groove on seed
    the caryopsis does not have a groove on it
    Seed length
    3.2–3.8 mm
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Rhizomes
    yes
    Roots
    the plant has rhizomes (horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf is tapered gradually to the base
    Leaf blade cross-section
    • the leaf blade is clearly folded or rolled inwards
    • the leaf blade is more or less flat in cross-section, or slightly folded or rolled inwards
    Leaf blade hairs
    • the leaf blade is hairless, but it may have tiny prickles that give it a sand-papery feel
    • the leaf blade is hairy
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is smooth, or it may have soft hairs
    Leaf blade width
    2–6 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.5–1.5 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane
    Leaf margin glands
    there are no glands along the edges of the leaf blade
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are fused together and form a closed tube except (possibly) at the very top
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • swamps
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Hairs at nodes
    the stem nodes are hairless or they have very sparse hairs
    Plant height
    30–110 cm
    Stem hairs
    the stem is nearly to completely hairless
    Stem orientation
    • the stems are upright
    • the stems trail at the base, but turn upwards at the tips
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

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

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Connecticut
uncommon to fairly widespread (S-rank: S3S4), special concern (code: SC)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Melica purpurascens (Torr.) A.S. Hitchc.
  • Trisetum purpurascens Torr.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Schizachne

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Schizachne purpurascens (Torr.) Swallen N

false melic grass. Melica purpurascens (Torr.) A.S. Hitchc.; Trisetum purpurascens Torr. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Dry-mesic to mesic, deciduous or mixed evergreen-deciduous forests.