Paspalum plicatulum

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Common name: brownseed paspalum[1]

Paspalum plicatulum
Paspalum plicatulum AFP.jpg
Photo by Betty Wargo 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. plicatulum
Binomial name
Paspalum plicatulum
Natural range of Paspalum plicatulum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: none[2]

Varieties: none[2]


P. plicatulum is a cespitose, perennial graminoid of the Poaceae family native to North America, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[1] The culms are 4-7 dm tall with glabrous nodes and internodes. The blades are 15 cm long, 1-4 mm wide, usually involute, glabrous on both surfaces, and basally pilose. The sheaths are glabrous, have scarious margins, and 2 mm long ligules. There are 2-3 racemes that are racemose, ascending, and 3-5 cm long. The rachis wing is scaberulous and 1 mm wide. Spikelets are ellipsoid, obtuse, 2.5-2.8 mm long, and grow in 2 rows with 2 abortive rows.[3]


P. plicatulum is found along the southeastern coast of the United States from Texas to South Carolina, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[1]



P. plicatulum proliferates in pine savannas and fields.[2] Specimens have been collected from sandhill communities, sand-oak woodlands, pine flatwoods, swamp clearings, full sun woodlands, pine flatwoods, lakeshores, roadside shoulders, savannas, longleaf pine forests, riverbanks, floodplains, wiregrass sandhills, and grassy clearing with loamy sands.[4]


P. plicatulum has been observed flowering in May through July.[5]

Fire ecology

P. plicatulum is not fire resistant, but has medium fire tolerance[1]; despite this, populations have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[6][7]

Herbivory and toxicology

P. plicatulum has high palatability for browsing and grazing animals.[1] This species functions as forage for cattle in the late summer and winter, and is heavily grazed along ditches and wet sites.[8]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 USDA Plant Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 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. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Cecil Slaughter, Marc Minno, Loran C. Anderson, Jake Gruis, R.K. Godfrey, Angus Gholson, R.F> Doren, H. Kurz, Wilson Baker, Sidney McDaniel,R.A. Pursell, R. Kral, J.B. McFarlin, R.E. Perue, R. Komarek, Kurt Blum, Ed Tyson, J.S. McCorkle, J. Dwyer, H. Loftin, William Stimson, J.A. Duke, R>L. Lazor, A.F. Clewell, Annie Schmidt, Ann Johnson, John Kunzer. States and counties: Florida (Clay, Leon, Orange, Calhoun, Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin, Washington, Walton, Jackson, Santa Rosa, Liberty, Union, Nassau, Levy, Citrus, Holmes, Lee, Gulf) Alabama (Crenshaw) Georgia (Grady, Thomas)
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Byrd, Nathan A. (1980). "Forestland Grazing: A Guide For Service Foresters In The South." U.S. Department of Agriculture.