OBTUSATA (Michx.) Scribn. Var. OBTUSATA
Prairie Wedge Grass
Herbaceous caespitose perennial, 2-10 dm.; flowering May-August.
SPECIES: This species can be easily confused with other members of the genus,
as well as with Koeleria macrantha. Variety obtusata differs from
the frequent variety, var. major, by having a dense, narrow
inflorescence as well as the upper glume being 2-3 times as long as the folded
width. There are intermediates between the two varieties.
RANGE: ME to B.C., s. to Mex. and the W.I.
RANGE: Post-1980 records are from Logan, Jackson, Lucas, and Warren counties.
There are pre-1980 records from Adams, Auglaize, Greene, Henry, Lorain, Marion,
Montgomery, Ottawa, Ross and Wood counties.
STATUS: 1980 to present: Threatened.
Very generalized; moist to dry soil of open woods, prairies, old fields, and
Grazing; this is a very succulent forage grass. Also, overshading by woody
species as a result of succession.
POTENTIAL: Good, as it does grow in a variety of habitats.
GUIDELINES: Mature flowering material is needed for identification. Collect the underground parts and note
density of basal tufts.
This grass has been collected at a variety of locations in Ohio and should be
sought throughout the state. It is easily overlooked or misidentified. Erdman
(1965) splits Sphenopholis obtusata into two varieties, the typical
variety and var. major (Torrey) Erdman. His var. major is treated
by other authors, such as Dore and McNeill (1980), as S. intermedia
E.L. 1967. The Monocotyledoneae [of Ohio]: Cat-tails to orchids. The Ohio State
Univ. Press, Columbus OH. 464 pp.
and J. McNeill. 1980. Grasses of Ontario. Agric. Canada Monograph 26. 556 p.
S.K. 1965. Taxonomy of the genus Sphenopholis (Gramineae). Iowa St. J.
Sci. 39: 299-336.
A.S. 1951. Manual of grasses of the United States. Ed. 2, rev. by A. Chase,
U.S. Dept. Agr. Misc. Publ. 200. 1051 p.
1999. Steyermark's Flora of Missouri, Volume 1. The Missouri Botanical Garden
Press, St. Louis, Missouri. 991 p.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: 2/1984 David Spooner, Allison W. Cusick
Revised: 3/2001 Richard Gardner
Database Code: SPGH.B48