Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Tripsacum dactyloides (L.) L.
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: This coarse grass has ascending, stiff spikes, usually with the male flowers above
and the female flowers below.
- Habitat: Moist to wet soil, swales, stream banks, roadsides, low woods, ditches, and meadows.
- Habit: Stout perennial grass with thick rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, smooth, up to 8 feet tall.
- Leaves: Mostly all near the base of the stem, flat, elongated, tapering to the tip, up to 1 1/2 inches
wide, rough to the touch, at least along the edges, with long hairs near the base.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets; spikelets borne in spikes, the male spikelets separate from the female,
either above the female on the same spike or on a separate branch of the same plant.
- Spikelets: Male spikelets 2-flowered, borne in pairs; female spikelets 1-flowered, in excavated
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 3, light purple, feathery.
- Grains: Partly enclosed in the jointed excavations, hard, shiny, closely compressed, breaking off
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