Gymnopogon brevifolius

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Gymnopogon brevifolius
Gymnopogon brevifolius.jpg
Photo taken by Kevin Robertson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae
Genus: Gymnopogon
Species: G. brevifolius
Binomial name
Gymnopogon brevifolius
GYMN BREV dist.jpg
Natural range of Gymnopogon brevifolius from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Shortleaf skeletongrass

Taxonomic notes


"Tufted, rhizomatous, perennial; culms branching, nodes and internodes glabrous. Leaves cauline; blades glabrous on both surfaces, margins scaberulous, bases cordate; sheaths conspicuously overlapping, glabrous, usually pilose apically; ligules membranous, ciliolate, less than 0.4 mm long; collars usually pilose. Spikes racemose; branches spreading, flexuous, angled, scaberulous. Spikelets in two rows on one side of rachis, 1-flwoered, occasionally a rudiment present in G. amibguus, appressed; pedicels angled, scaberulous, absent or to 1.5 mm long. Glumes 1-nerved, margins usually scarious; paleas 2-nerved, margins usually scarious, acute; callus usually bearded; rachilla prolonged or capped by sterile floret. Grain reddish, linear-ellipsoid."[1]

"Culms 3-6 dm tall. Blades frequently cuspidate, to 9 cm long. Spikelets usually length of spike, 4.5-6.5 cmm long. Glumes 3.5-6.5 mm long; fertile lemma usually glabrous, body 3.5-4 mm long, awn usually 5-10 mm long, occasionally a long, awned sterile lemmas present; paleas 3.5-4 mm long. Grain 2.5-2.6 mm long."[1]




This species is found on longleaf pine sandhills, open wiregrass-pinewoods savannas, mesic pine flatwoods, palmetto-wiregrass-longleaf pine woodlands, pine barrens, and mixed woodlands. Grows in dry and moist sandy loam in these environments as well as human disturbed habitats such as along back roads.[2] Associated species includes Aristida stricta, Muhlenbergia, Schizachyrium, Panicum anceps, Paspalum bifidum, Pinus palutris, Andropogon, Pinus elliottii, Lilium, Verbesina chapmanii, Platanthera integra, Carphephorus paniculatus, Sabal palmetto, Quercus falcata.[2]


It has been observed to flower and fruit in January, April, September through October, and December.[2] It also flowers in August.[3]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [4]

Use by animals

Comprised deer diets more in the summer than in the winter.[5]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 118. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Trina Mitchell, James R. Burkhalter, A. H. Curtiss, R. Kral, R.K. Godfrey, W. A. Silveus, and Carolyn Kindell. States and Counties: Florida: Calhoun, Duval, Franklin, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. Georgia: Grady.
  3. Flint, C. L. (1887). Grasses and forage plants: a practical treatise comprising their natural history; comparative nutritive value; methods of cultivating, cutting, and curing. Boston, MA, Lee and Shepard Publishers.
  4. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  5. Thill, R. E. (1983). Deer and cattle forage selection on Louisiana pine-hardwood sites. New Orleans, LA, USDA Forest Service.