Paspalum floridanum

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Common name: Florida paspalum,[1] big paspalum[2]

Paspalum floridanum
Paspalum floridanum AFP.jpg
Photo by Keith Bradley hosted at Atlas of Florida Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Paspalum
Species: P. floridianum
Binomial name
Paspalum floridanum
Natural range of Paspalum floridanum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none[2]

Varieties: P. difforme Le Conte; P. floridanum Michaux; P. floridanum var. floridanum; P. floridanum var. glabratum Engelmann ex Vasey; P. giganteum Baldwin ex Vasey[2]


Paspalum floridanum is a coarse, perennial graminoid of the Poaceae family native to North America.[1] It grows from a stout rhizome. The culms are 5-15 dm tall with glabrous nodes and internodes. The ligules are membranous and 1-2 mm long, while the 2-7 racemes are racemous, ascending, and 3-13 cm long. The spikelets are suborbicular, ellipsoid, 3-4 mm long, and grow in 4 rows.[3]

Paspalum floridanum does not have specialized underground storage units apart from its rhizomes.[4] Diaz-Toribio and Putz (2021) recorded this species to have an non-structural carbohydrate concentration of 246 mg/g (ranking 17 out of 100 species studied).[4]


P. floridanum ranges from New Jersey, Illinois, and Kansas, south to Florida and eastern Texas.[2]



P. floridanum proliferates in wet forests and pine savannas.[2] Specimens have been collected from disturbed roadside in pine-oak woodland, wet pine flatwoods and cypress depression, disturbed sandy field, longleaf pine stand, willow thicket, wiregrass savanna, pond-margin, marsh bank, mesic hammock, hardwood swamp, and sandy loam of hillside seepage.[5]


P. floridanum flowers from August through October.[2]

Seed dispersal

P. floridanum is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[6]

Fire ecology

Populations of Paspalum floridanum have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[7][8]

Herbivory and toxicology

Paspalum floridanum provides moderately palatable forage for cattle in the southeast in the spring and summer, but will decrease in abundance under heavy grazing.[9]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

P. floridanum is listed as extirpated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.[1]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  3. Radford, A. E., Ahles, H. E., & Bell, C. R. (1968). Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Diaz-Toribio, M.H. and F. E. Putz 2021. Underground carbohydrate stores and storage organs in fire-maintained longleaf pine savannas in Florida, USA. American Journal of Botany 108: 432-442.
  5. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Cecil Slaughter, R.K. Godfrey, J.R> Burkhalter, D.W. Hall, R.A. Pursell, R.Kral, N.C. Henderson, Paul Redfearn, A.H. Curtiss, William Reese, Jean Wooten, A.F. Clewell, Gary Knight, David Hall, Dan Skean, F.C. Craighead, Ann Johnson, R. Komarek, R.A> Norris, J.S. McCorkle, Wilson Baker, T. MacClendon, Annie Achmidt, William Platt, John Nelson, Wade Biltoft. States and counties: Florida (Wakulla, Nassau, Flagler, Jefferson, Escambia, Leon, Gulf, Dixie, Volusia, Okaloosa, Walton, Jackson, Gadsden, Flageler, Holmes, Duval, Levy, Osceola, Calhoun) Georgia (Thomas, Grady) South Carolina (Berkeley)
  6. 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.
  7. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  8. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  9. Byrd, Nathan A. (1980). "Forestland Grazing: A Guide For Service Foresters In The South." U.S. Department of Agriculture.