Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Tufted Hairgrass
Deschampsia cespitosa
Family: Poaceae

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

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1S2

Rocky limestone ledges on bluffs.

Species Description:
Perennial grass.

Flowering Period: Early June to late August.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This plant in Kentucky is of the subspecies glauca. In general the appearance of this grass is that of a clump of green hair, the blades are very thin (1-5mm) and long and in combination with the habitat, dry open woods, should eliminate most grasses. The species is also distinguished by the purplish or silvery spikelets and the awns (which are attached to the middle or base of lemma) are included in the spikelet and straight. Also, the blades are flat rather than inrolled. Other technical characters are the larger glumes less than 6 mm, glumes similar to each other and longer than the lowest lemma, spikelets with 2 or more fertile florets. This species is most similar to Avenella flexuosa/Deschampsia flexuosa, see that species for more technical description of differences.

Disturbance of surrounding areas such as ATV trails, timber removal or any activity that results in increased erosion and weed invasion will be detrimental. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species. Avoid creating access to the site through trail or road construction.

Global Range:

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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