Plants cespitose, cylindrical to ovate above. Culms 30-100(140)
cm; internodes usually glaucous; branches mostly erect, straight.
Sheaths smooth; ligules 0.3-1.5 mm, sometimes ciliate, cilia to
0.7 mm; blades 6-48 cm long, 0.8-5 mm wide, glabrous or densely pubescent
with spreading hairs. Inflorescence units 2-31 per culm; subtending
sheaths (2.6)4.1-4.5(13.5) cm long, (1.5)2.7-4.7(8) mm wide; peduncles
(1)5-31(195) mm, with 2-5 rames; rames (1.5)2.8-4.2(6) cm, exserted or
not at maturity, pubescence increasing in density distally within each internode.
Sessile spikelets (3)3.9-4.7(5.7) mm; callus hairs 1-5 mm; keels
of lower glumes scabrous only beyond midlength; awns 8-24 mm; anthers
1, 0.6-1.4(1.7) mm, yellow or purple. Pedicellate spikelets vestigial or
absent. 2n = 20.
Andropogon gyrans extends from the southeastern United States to the Caribbean
and Central America.
Culms tufted, 3-10 dm, often branched above, mostly glabrous below, the short uppermost internodes densely villous at the summit; lvs flat, 3-4 mm wide, the upper usually crowded, broader (even to 15 mm) and spathe-like, brownish or coppery, 8-15 cm; racemes numerous, paired, 3-5 cm, white-villous, usually flexuous; sessile spikelet three-fourths as long as the sterile pedicel and
shorter than the internode next above it; awn 1-2 cm, loosely twisted below; 2n=20. Fields and open woods; N.J. to O. and Mo., s. to Fla. and Tex. Variable, but the vars. not well defined. (A. elliottii,
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
As now known, this species is restricted practically to the unglaciated area where it is usually found with Andropogon virginicus. It is most often found in dry, impoverished soil on washed slopes and in abandoned fields. A variety projectus has been named by Fernald & Griscom (Rhodora 37: 139. 1935). The Indiana record is based upon my collection no. 26865. This variety is described as having the racemes on long-exserted peduncles. This is merely the early phase of the inflorescence, and late in the season the long-exserted racemes usually fall and the broad sheaths open, exposing the subsessile pairs of racemes in their axils.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 3
Wetland Indicator Status: FACU
Diagnostic Traits: To 1.4 m tall; spikes 2-5, hidden in inflated, overlapping upper sheaths; pedicellate spikelets vestigial; sessile spikelet 3.9-5.7 mm, its awn 8-24 mm. Our populations are assigned to var. gyrans.