Torreyochloa pallida (Torr.) Church

pale false manna 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

Two varieties of pale false manna grass occur in New England. One of them (Torreyochloa pallida var. pallida) has larger spikelets and ligules, and wider blades than the other (T. pallida var. fernaldii). Both are found in shallow water of lakes, swamps, pools and slow-moving streams.

Habitat

Lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), riverine (in rivers or streams), swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • aquatic
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
1–10 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
3–7 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
0 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
2–8 mm
Anther length
0.2–1.5 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    0.2–1.5 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
    2–7
    Floret types within spikelet
    all the florets within a spikelet are similar
    Glume awn length
    0 mm
    Glume keel
    NA
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume shape
    the glume is flat or curved in cross-section
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    Glumes per spikelet
    2
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branch roughness
    the inflorescence branches are somewhat to very rough
    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
    2–4
    Inflorescence crowding
    the panicle is somewhat to very spread out, with clearly-evident branches
    Inflorescence length
    30–250 mm
    Inflorescence length to width ratio
    1–3.8
    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
    Inflorescence width
    10–160 mm
    Inforescence position
    the spikelets are mainly carried at the end of the stem
    Lemma awn base
    NA
    Lemma awn coiled
    NA
    Lemma awn length
    0 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has no awn
    Lemma awn orientation
    NA
    Lemma base hair length
    0 mm
    Lemma base hairs
    the lemma is hairless or feels just a tiny bit rough at the base
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    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 has a ragged edge
    Lemma tip shape
    • the lemma tip tapers to a broad point (it may or may not also have an awn or teeth at the tip)
    • the lemma tip tapers to a narrow point (it may or may not also have an awn or teeth at the tip)
    Lemma vein number
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    Lemma vein orientation
    the veins on the lemma stay roughly parallel throughout
    Lower glume length
    0.8–2.1 mm
    Lower glume relative length
    • the lower glume is nearly as long, or as long as, the upper glume
    • the lower glume is one third to three quarters as long as the upper glume
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Palea length
    2–3.6 mm
    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
    3–7 mm
    Spikelet number per node
    Up to 0
    Spikelet shape
    the spikelets are oblong (rectangular, but with rounded ends) in profile
    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
    1.3–2.7 mm
    Upper glume relative length
    the upper glume is more than one half as long as the lowest lemma
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Growth form
    Horizontal rooting stem
    no
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Rhizomes
    yes
    Roots
    the plant has rhizomes (horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Basal leaves
    the plant has few or no leaves coming from the base of the flowering stem
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf basal lobe hairy
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    the leaf blade is hairless, but it may have tiny prickles that give it a sand-papery feel
    Leaf blade length
    5–10 cm
    Leaf blade width
    1–10 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    2–8 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 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
    Orientation of topmost leaf
    • the flag leaf is held outward at more than a 45 degree angle from the stem, or it curves downwards from the horizontal
    • the flag leaf is held upright, or at less than a 45 degree angle out from the stem
  • Place
    Habitat
    • aquatic
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • in lakes or ponds
    • in rivers or streams
    • swamps
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Hairs at nodes
    the stem nodes are hairless or they have very sparse hairs
    Plant height
    18–145 cm
    Roots at lower stem nodes
    • no
    • yes
    Stem hairs
    the stem is nearly to completely hairless
    Stem orientation
    • the stems are upright
    • the stems trail along the ground or on other plants through most or all of their length
    • the stems trail at the base, but turn upwards at the tips
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow singly or a few together (they may form diffuse colonies)

Wetland Status

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

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.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. fernaldii

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

var. pallida

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Glyceria borealis
Glyceria striata

Synonyms

  • Glyceria pallida (Torr.) Trin.
  • Panicularia pallida (Torr.) Kuntze
  • Puccinellia pallida (Torr.) Kuntze

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Torreyochloa

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Variety fernaldii is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, VT; also reported from RI by Seymour (1982), 
but specimens are unknown. Variety pallida is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Torreyochloa pallida (Torr.) Church N

pale false manna grass.  1a. Glyceria fernaldii (A.S. Hitchc.) St. John; Puccinellia fernaldii (A.S. Hitchc.) E.G. Voss; Torreyochloa fernaldii (A.S. Hitchc.) Church;  1b. Glyceria pallida (Torr.) Trin.; Panicularia pallida (Torr.) Kuntze; Puccinellia pallida (Torr.) Kuntze • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Shallow water of lakes and pools, swamps, slow-moving streams.

1a.  Spikelets 3–5 mm long; lemmas 2–2.8 mm long; larger leaf blades 1–3.5 mm wide, bearing ligules 2–4 mm long; anthers nearly globose, 0.2–0.5 mm long 
 … 1a. T. pallida var. fernaldii (A.S. Hitchc.) Dore ex Koyama & Kawano

1b.  Spikelets 5–7 mm long; lemmas 2.5–3.5 mm long; larger leaf blades mostly 4–10 mm wide, bearing ligules 5–8 mm long; anthers definitely longer than wide, 0.6–1.5 mm long 
 … 1b. T. pallida var. pallida

Variety fernaldii is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, VT; also reported from RI by Seymour (1982), 
but specimens are unknown. Variety pallida is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT.