HETEROLEPIS (Gray) Gray
FAMILY: Gramineae (Poaceae)
SYNONYM: Sporobolus heterolepis Gray
HABIT: Herbaceous, densely caespitose perennial, 3-10 dm.;
SIMILAR SPECIES: This grass forms distinctive,
extremely dense tussocks. When mature,
the seeds are large, round, and black, unlike any other grass in Ohio.
TOTAL RANGE: S. CT to se. PA; w. Que. to Sask., locally s.
to NY, centr. OH, n. IN, IL, AR, e. TX, and WY.
STATE RANGE: Limited to the prairie soils of Ohio. There are
post-1960 records from Champaign, Clark, and Madison counties. There are pre-1960
records from Franklin County.
STATE STATUS: 1980-1983: Endangered, 1984 to present:
HABITAT: Dry to moist calcareous soils in full sun, railroad
HAZARDS: Farming of the prairies has undoubtedly caused a
decline of this grass in Ohio. The best stand in Ohio is on a historically
unplowed site, and the grass is not found outside the undisturbed area. Another
known site is in a disturbed area, but the population is not well developed.
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Probably very poor, as relatively
undisturbed habitat is apparently required for this grass to survive. As with
many other prairie species, periodic fires may enhance its survival.
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Mature flowering material is needed
for identification. Note the basal tufts. Avoid over-collecting.
COMMENTS: This grass is very rare in Ohio due to the lack of
suitable remaining habitat. Additional locations should be sought throughout
Ohio's prairie peninsula.
Dore, W.G. and J. McNeill. 1980. Grasses of Ontario. Agric.
Canada Monograph 26. 556 p.
Hitchcock, 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.
King, C.C. 1981. Prairies of the Darby Plains in
west-central Ohio. p. 108-127. In: Stuckey, R.L. and K.J. Reese, eds.
The prairie peninsula - in the "shadow" of Transeau: Proc. Sixth
North American Prairie Conference, Ohio Biol. Surv. Biol. Notes No. 15: 278 p.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: 2/1984 David Spooner
Database Code: SPGH.693