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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

16. Leersia Sw.

1. Leersia oryzoides (L.) Sw. -- Rice cutgrass

Loosely tufted perennial from creeping rhizomes, 3-10 dm tall; culms upright to decumbent. Leaves flat, 3-11 mm wide, strongly scabrous, abrasive to the touch; sheaths scabrous, usually puberulent at the collar; ligule truncate, rather firm, 1 mm long. Panicle 10-20 cm long, open with spreading to ascending branches or often partially to completely included by the uppermost leaf sheath, the spikelets then cleistogamous. Spikelets strongly compressed, pale green and becoming stramineous or brown with age, 3.5-5 mm long; glumes absent; lemma boat-shaped, hispid, coarsely so on the keel and margins; palea as long as or slightly exceeding the lemma, coarsely hispid on the keel, the margins tightly included by the lemma; anthers 0.2-2.4 mm long, the smaller sized anthers most typical of cleistogamous spikelets. Grain reddish-brown to brown, compressed, asymmetrically pyriform to obovoid, 2.5-3 mm long. Late Jul--early Sep. Muddy or sandy stream banks and shores; frequent except in the w part; (Que. and N.S. to B.C., s to FL, TX and CA, apparently absent in MT and WY; also in Europe).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Leersia oryzoides (from Hitchcock 1950).  

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