Plant Listings

Sporobolus virginicus

Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth

Common Names: Seashore Rush Grass, Seashore Drop Seed, Sand Couch, Coastal Rat Tail Grass

Family: Poaceae

Habit: Sporobolus virginicus grows as a rhizomatous perennial up to 50 cm in height when flowering. The leaves are arranged alternately, distichous, to 25 cm in length (usually shorter) with at basal sheath extending along the stem. At the point of divergence of the leaf sheath to the leaf blade is a ciliate scale ligule. The leaves are parallel veined.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in a tight compacted panicle of spikelets.  At the base of each spikelet are 2 structures called glumes. The first glume small and the second is larger. In each spikelet there are flowering structures each is subtended by 2 additional structures (lemma and palea). Each spikelet has 1 floret with 1 stamen and a superior ovary each with a single locule and seed.  The fruit is a caryopsis when present.

Habitat: Sporobolus virginicus grows in Dunes, Saline Flats and the edges of Mangrove areas.

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Sporobolus virginicus occurs throughout all of the island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago and tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Sporobolus virginicus is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

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