Axonopus fissifolius

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Common name: Common Carpetgrass

Axonopus fissifolius
Axonopus fissifolius AFP.jpg
Photo by the Atlas of Florida Plants Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Axonopus
Species: A. fissifolius
Binomial name
Axonopus fissifolius
(Raddi) Kuhlmann
Natural range of Axonopus fissifolius from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Paspalum fissifolium Raddi; Axonopus affinis Chase. [1]

Varieties: none.[1]


A. fissifolius is a perennial grass of the Poaceae family.[2] The leaf blade can be flat or folded with fine hairs along margin near the base, slightly pointed or rounded, and purplish or reddish when mature. The seedhead has 3 slender racemes, 2 at summit and 1 (rarely 2) below.[3]


A. fissifolius can be found in the southeastern United States from Texas to Virginia, in California and Puerto Rico, and was introduced to Hawaii.[2]



A. fissifolius is found in pine flatwoods, sandy forests, fields, roadsides, and lawns. [4] It has also been found in grassland areas with poor drainage, among other bunchgrasses. [5] Other observances include loamy sand of longleaf pine oak wiregrass sandhills, wet depressions, mixed swamps, hydric hammocks, and wet clayey sand.[6]

A. fissifolius was found to either increase its occurrence or be unaffected by soil disturbance by roller chopping in south Florida. It has also shown additional growth and sometimes no change in growth in reestablished native south Florida forests that were disturbed by roller chopping.[7] It does not respond to soil disturbance by clearcutting and chopping in North Florida flatwoods forests.[8]

Associated species: Fuirena sp. and Rhynchospora sp.[6]


A. fissifolius occurs more in spots where grazing and trampling were particularly heavy. [9]

Herbivory and toxicology

A. fissifolius is rated as good forage. [10] It is grazed all year by various livestock.[3] This species is an invader species that can tolerate heavy grazing and must be subject to grazing to continue growing.[11]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

A. fissifolius is designated as a weedy or invasive plant by the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project, Biological Resources Division.[2] For the most production and efficient harvest by livestock, grazing should be rotated each 30 to 40 days with no more than 50% of the current year's growth grazed.[3]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 USDA Plant Database
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Magee, P. (2005). Plant Fact Sheet: Common Carpetgrass Axonopus fissifolius. N.R.C.S. United States Department of Agriculture. Baton Rouge, LA.
  4. . Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  5. Boughton, E., et al. (2013). "Season of fire and nutrient enrichment affect plant community dynamics in subtropical semi-natural grasslands released from agriculture." Biological Conservation 158: 239-247.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: March 2019. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, N. Bristan, Richard R. Clinebell II, E. H. Cooley, S. T. Cooper, A. H. Curtiss, J. A. Duke, R. J. Eaton, R. K. Godfrey, Edwin Keppner, R. Komarek, R. Kral, John M. Kunzer, R. L. Lazor, D. L. Martin, Gil Nelson, R. A. Norris, R. E. Perdue, P. L. Redfearn, G. W. Reinert, Cecil R. Slaughter, and C. Wood. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Charlotte, Clay, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gulf, Hernando, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Marion, Martin, Okaloosa, Osceola, Polk, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. Georgia: Clinch, Grady, and Thomas.
  7. Lewis, C.E. (1970). Responses to Chopping and Rock Phosphate on South Florida Ranges. Journal of Range Management 23(4):276-282.
  8. Moore, W.H., B.F. Swindel, and W.S. Terry. (1982). Vegetative Response to Clearcutting and Chopping in a North Florida Flatwoods Forest. Journal of Range Management 35(2):214-218.
  9. Lewis, C. E. (1970). "Responses to chopping and rock phosphate on south Florida ranges " Journal of Range Management 23: 276-282.
  10. Hilmon, J. B. (1964). "Plants of the Caloosa Experimental Range " U.S. Forest Service Research Paper SE-12
  11. Byrd, Nathan A. (1980). "Forestland Grazing: A Guide For Service Foresters In The South." U.S. Department of Agriculture.