Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Cumberland sandgrass
Calamovilfa arcuata
Family: Poaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  E
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G2G3
State Rank: S1

Occurs along sunny, open gravel/cobble bars along high-gradient streams and small rivers which are subject to and maintained by scouring floods.

Species Description:
Perennial grass.

Flowering Period: August to September.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This grass is distinguished by spikelets (the single flowering structures) that are compressed. The panicles (the whole flowering structure) is purplish. The glumes and lemma (the "little leaves" that are associated with the flower), arch, thus the name "arcuate". The ligule, located at the juncture of the sheath or lower leaf blade and the upper leaf blade, is hairy.

Any change in the hydrology of the stream where this plant occurs could be detrimental. Such changes could result from timber/vegetation removal or stream/wetland alteration. Disturbance of surrounding slopes such as ATV trails or any activity that results in increased erosion or exotic pest plants in the watershed will be detrimental.

Global Range:
This species has a disjunct distribution, with one cluster of populations in southern Kentucky, Tennessee, and northern Alabama and a second cluster in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Further study of the reasons for this disjunction could be worthwhile.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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