Plants perennial; rhizomatous, stoloniferous. Culms 10-65 cm, erect
to decumbent. Sheaths overlapping, margins ciliate, apices with tufts of
hairs, hairs to 2 mm; ligules 0.1-0.4 mm; blades usually conspicuously
distichous, 4-16 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, flat to loosely involute, glabrous abaxially,
scabridulous adaxially, margins scabridulous. Panicles 3-10 cm long, 0.4-1.6
cm wide, contracted, spikelike, dense; primary branches 0.5-2 cm, appressed,
spikelet-bearing to the base; pedicels 0.2-1.4 mm, appressed. Spikelets
(1.8)2-3.2 mm, yellowish-white to purplish-tinged, sometimes grayish. Glumes
subequal, ovate-oblong, membranous; lower glumes 1.5-2.4 mm; upper glumes
1.8-3(3.2) mm; lemmas 2.1-3 mm, ovate to lanceolate, membranous, glabrous,
acute; paleas 2.1-3 mm, ovate, membranous; anthers 3, 1-1.7 mm,
yellowish. Fruits not known. 2n = 20, 30.
Sporobolus virginicus grows on sandy beaches, sand dunes, and in saline
habitats, primarily along the southeastern coast, occasionally inland. Its range
extends through Mexico and Central America to Peru, Chile, and Brazil. No fruits
of this species have been found despite examination of several natural populations
and over 200 herbarium specimens.
Perennial from long creeping rhizomes; culms erect, 1.5-6 dm; lvs conspicuously distichous; sheaths overlapping; blades spreading or ascending, 5-8 cm, broadest (3-6 mm) near the base and tapering to a fine point; panicle exsert, 3-8 cm, stramineous or purplish; glumes sharply acute, the first 1.6-2.9 mm, the second 1.9-2.9 mm; lemma 1.9-2.8 mm, ca equaling the palea; 2n=18, 30. Sandy or muddy shores and marshes, usually in saline soil; trop. Amer., n. along the coast to se. Va.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.