Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Crinkled Hairgrass
Deschampsia flexuosa
Family: Poaceae

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

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2

Dry, open or partially shaded sandy or rocky soil in mesic forests and cracks in sandstone cliffs and cliff bases.

Species Description:
Perennial grass.

Flowering Period: Early June to late August.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This plant is now been placed in the monotypic genus Avenella, under the new name Avenella flexuosa (FNA, 2007; Chiapella, 2007). This plant appears to be a clump of green hair on the ground. The leaf blades are very thin and long (hair-like), filiform not flat, and in combination with the dry habitat (commonly clifflines) it is easy to identify this species in the field. The spikelets are silvery purple and inflorescence is somewhat loose and nodding. The awn is 4-8 mm long, geniculate, and exserted beyond the tips of the glumes (versus 2-3 mm long and scarcely or not at all exserted beyond the tips of the glumes in D. cespitosa var. glauca), the lemmas are minutely scabrous (versus smooth and shiny in D. cespitosa var. glauca), and the leaf blades are involute, appearing filiform (rounded in cross section) (versus leaf blades flat or folded at the midvein as in in D. cespitosa var. glauca)

The cliffline habitat where this species occurs is fragile and may be degraded by disturbance such as roads or even repeated trampling. Disturbance may also invite weed/pest invasion.

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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