Ctenium aromaticum

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Common Names: toothache grass; orange grass [1]

Ctenium aromaticum
Ctenium aromaticum.JPG
Photo by Kevin Robertson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Ctenium
Species: C. aromaticum
Binomial name
Ctenium aromaticum
Natural range of Ctenium aromaticum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonym: Campulosus aromaticus (Walter) Trinius

Variety: none


C. aromaticum is a perennial graminoid of the Poaceae family native to North America. [1]


C. aromaticum can be found in the southeastern part of the United States, specifically in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. [1]



Ideal habitats for the C. aromaticum are in moist clay that may have some standing water after heavy rains. It has adapted to extremely wet conditions with acidic soils. [1]

C. aromaticum is considered an indicator species in the upper Florida Panhandle wetland regions. It is also a dominant grass in lower panhandle savannas. [2]

Specimens have been collected from habitats including longleaf pineland, wet loamy sands near bog, recently burned pineland, wiregrass savannas, flatwoods savannas, ponds, and prairies. [3]


C. aromaticum flower periodically between April and November.

However, it has been seen to flower earlier in the year, a few months after a prescribed burn. Edwin Bridges observed a region starting to flower in February after a prescribed fire in November in a pine savanna. .[4]

Seed bank and germination

Seed germination starts in Map and June that develop into stalks that produce plentiful seeds. [1]

Fire ecology

Seeds are produced after the region has been burned.[1]

Use by animals

This grass can be used for livestock to graze on. [1] The seeds are one of the preferred species by the Henslow's Sparrow for food in the winter. This species had long been considered an indicator species of Henslow's Sparrow habitats. [5]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 USDA Plant Database
  2. Carr, S. C., et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.
  3. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Nancy E. Jordan, R.K. Godfrey, John Nelson, G. Knight, R. Wnek, John Morrill, Bruce Hansen, A. Curtiss, A. Clewell, E. Tyson, Steve L. Orzell, Edwin Bridges, Sidney McDaniel, R. Kral, O. Lakela, William Reese, Paul Redfearn, Grady W. Reinert, R.Lazor, J.B. McFarlin, P.Ferral, R. Porcher. States and counties: Florida (Wakulla, Liberty, Bay, Franklin, Nassau, Escambia, Duval, Holmes, Jefferson, Santa Rosa, Pasco, Calhoun, Leon, Osceola, Highlands, Jackson), Georgia (Thomas, Dougherty), South Carolina (Berkely)
  4. Observation by Edwin Bridges in Highlands County, Fl., February 12, 2016, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group February 13, 2016.
  5. DiMiceli, J. K., et al. (2007). "Seed preferences of wintering Henslow's sparrows." Condor 109: 595-604.