small carpgrass (Arthraxon hispidus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON NAMES:

small carpgrass

jointhead grass

hairy jointgrass

 

SCIENTIFIC SYNONYMS:

Arthraxon ciliaris P. Beauv. var. cryptatherus Hack.

Arthraxon hispidus (Thunb.) Makino var. cryptatherus (Hack.) Honda

Phalaris hispida Thunb.

 

TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for small carp-

grass is Arthraxon hispidus (Thunb.) Makino.

 

NATIVE STATUS: Introduced, United States.

 

GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Small carpgrass is

a low-growing creeping annual grass in the Grass Family that grows to a

height of 1.5 feet. The ovate to lanceolate leaf blades are 0.75-2.75 inches

in length and 0.2-0.6 inches in width. There are hairs along the margins of

the leaf blades. The heart-shaped (cordate) bases of the leaves encircle the

sheath.  The individual flowers, or spikelets, are arranged in multiple spike-

like racemes, averaging about 1½ inches long, that terminate the stems.

The stems develop roots at the lower nodes. The seeds are slender and

yellowish in color, measuring 1/6-inch long.

 

REGENERATION PROCESS: Small carpgrass propogates itself by

seeds that can be dispersed by moving water.

 

HABITAT TYPES: Small carpgrass is often found in moist pastures and

fields, shaded upland woods, floodplain forests, stream banks, along shore-

lines, roads and trails where soils remain moist.

 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Small carpgrass prefers sunny moist hab-

itats.

 

SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Small carpgrass flowers appear from September to October.

 

GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Small carpgrass occurs throughout the

eastern portion of the United States, from Florida to the lower New Eng-

land states and westward to Texas north to Nebraska. It does not occur

in upper mid-West, northern Plains, far southwest, Rocky Mountain

states or most of the Pacific coast states (except Oregon). It does not

occur in Canada.

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:

 

Grass specimens can be found on trails marked in red.

 

       Bleak House
       Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
       South Ridge/North Ridge
       Gap Run
       Snowden
       Woodpecker Lane

       Sherman's Mill
       Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
       Fish Pond

 

The specific distribution of small carpgrass has not been determined.

 

IMPORTANCES AND USES Small carpgrass was first observed in

Virginia in 1930s and may have been accidentally introduced. It can form

dense stands, particularly along shorelines that may threaten native vege-

tation. Jointhead grass often occurs with another highly invasive annual

grass species, Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum).

 

 

Back to Inventory of Grass Families and Species

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