Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Ctenium aromaticum (Walter) A. Wood
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This grass is easily recognized by the stiff, comb-like spikes. From the very similar
Ctenium floridanum, it differs by not having rhizomes.
- Habitat: Bogs, moist or dry soils in pinelands, savannas.
- Habit: Tufted perennial grass, without rhizomes, with many fibrous old leaf bases persisting.
- Stems: Upright, up to 4 feet tall, hairy except at the nodes.
- Leaves: Mostly all crowded near the base of the stems, elongated and narrow, up to 15 inches
long, up to 1/4 inch wide, rough to the touch but mostly without hairs.
- Flowers: Borne in paired spikelets on one side of a curved axis, the axis up to 6 inches long.
- Spikelets: 1-flowered but with 3 lemmas, up to 1/3 inch long, short-awned.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Dark red, shiny, linear, up to 1/6 inch long.
- Notes: When young stems and leaves are crushed, they have the odor of citrus. Chewing parts of the grass has been used to alleviate toothache.
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