Black-seeded Needle Grass
FAMILY: Gramineae (Poaceae)
HABIT: Herbaceous cespitose perennial, 3-10 dm.; flowering
April-June (rarely September).
SIMILAR SPECIES: The genus Piptochaetium is distinctive.
Two species occur in Ohio, both of which are rare. Identification is based upon
TOTAL RANGE: N. FL to e. TX, n. to MA, NY, MI, and WI.
STATE RANGE: LAWRENCE CO.: dry woods, 1/2 mi. E. of Lake
Vesuvius, Elizabeth Twp., 2 May 1954, F. Bartley (OS); dry open woods, 1
mi. E. of Lake Vesuvius, 2 May 1954, F. Bartley (BHO, OS); dry woods, 2
mi. E. of Lake Vesuvius, 2 May 1954, F. Bartley (OS); dry open woods, 1
mi. E. of Lake Vesuvius, 29 May 1955, F. Bartley (BHO). Stuckey &
Roberts (1982) indicate that this species was collected in Lawrence County in
1953 also, but no basis for this date is known.
STATE STATUS: 1980-1983: Endangered, 1984 to present:
HABITAT: Dry ground in woods, especially oak woods, and dry
HAZARDS: When young, this is a palatable grass subject to
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Unknown, but presumed good due to the
abundance of seemingly suitable habitat.
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Mature flowering material needed for
identification. Collect the underground
parts and note density of basal tufts.
COMMENTS: This grass may very well exist in many more
locations in Ohio, as it occurs in all of the surrounding states. It is a
conspicuous plant that is unlikely to be overlooked.
Hitchcock, A.S. 1925. The North American species of Stipa.
Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 24: 215-262.
Hitchcock, A.S. 1951. Manual of grasses of the
United States. Ed. 2, rev. by A. Chase. U.S. Dep. Agr. Misc. Publ. 200. 1051 p.
Stuckey, R.L. and M.L. Roberts. 1982. Monocotyledons. In:
Cooperrider, T.S. (ed.). Endangered and threatened plants of Ohio. Ohio biol.
Surv. Biol. Notes No. 16: 48-84.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: 3/1985 David Spooner
Database Code: SPGH.B49