Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Paspalum distichum L.
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This Paspalum usually only has 2 racemes at the end of the flowering stem. Stems
that do not bear racemes often crawl or creep on the ground, rooting at the nodes.
- Habitat: Brackish and freshwater marshes, shores, ponds, ditches, wet clearings, sometimes
in shallow standing water.
- Habit: Perennial grass with either stolons, rhizomes, or both, frequently forming mats.
- Stems: All except the raceme-bearing stems crawling or creeping on the ground, rooting at the
nodes; raceme-bearing stems upright, smooth, up to 1 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, tapering to a very slender tip, smooth, up to 1/3 inch wide; leaf sheaths
usually with some hairs at their summit.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with several spikelets arranged in two rows on one side of the
rachis; racemes 2 at the end of each upright stem, up to 3 inches long.
- Spikelets: 1-flowered, ellipsoid, pointed at the tip, up to 1/8 inch in diameter, hairy.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Oblongoid to ellipsoid, yellowish, about 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: This species is sometimes called knot-grass.
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