Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Sugar Cane Plumegrass
Erianthus giganteus (Walter) F.T. Hubb.
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: September-October
- Field Marks: This plumegrass is distinguished by its huge plume-like spikes up to 15 inches long and more than 3 inches wide, and by its untwisted awns of the spikelets.
- Habitat: Low pinelands, brackish marshes, sloughs, flatwoods, swamps, wet ditches, savannas,
- Habit: Coarse perennial grass with short, thick rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, up to 10 feet tall, usually smooth just beneath the spike, the nodes hairy when
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow or as much as 1 inch wide, smooth or hairy, rough to the touch along
the edges; sheaths hairy.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with many spikelets crowded into large, spike-like panicles;
panicles up to 15 inches long, more than 3 inches wide.
- Spikelets: In pairs, lanceolate, brown, up to 1/3 inch long, silky-hairy, with awns up to 1 inch
long, one spikelet of the pair sessile, the other with a stalk.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Up to 1/12 inch long.
- Notes: When the plume of spikelets first appears, and until after the seed head expands, it is silver in color. After expansion, it is grayish tan.
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