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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Glyceria canadensis (Michx.) Trin.)

Rattlesnake manna grass

GRASS FAMILY (Gramineae or Poaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A perennial grass with usually solitary erect stems growing to a height of about 1 m. The leaf blades are 3-8 mm. wide. The inflorescence is a diffuse panicle of drooping branches 1-3 dm. long. The ovate spikelets are 3-5(8) mm. long, have 3-8(10) flowers and become 3-5 mm. broad at maturity. The smooth lemmas are pointed and exceed the palea by about 0.5-1.0 mm. The nerves on the lemmas are conspicuous, but not raised significantly. Glume margins are entire.

See Giant Manna Grass (Glyceria grandis S. Watson) for good field characteristics that aid in distinguishing the manna grasses (Glyceria spp.) from other genera.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Rattlesnake manna grass is found in a variety of wet habitats, such as deep and shallow marshes, bogs, wooded swamps and lake shores. It is more commonly found north of the tension zone. Southward, it seems to prefer boggy habitats.

SOURCE: Fassett (1951); Gleason and Cronquist (1991); Swink and Wilhelm (1994); and Voss (1972).

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