Pityopsis graminifolia

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Pityopsis graminifolia
Pityopsis graminfolia MMS PH Oct 2015.jpg
Photo by Michelle Smith
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Pityopsis
Species: P. graminifolia
Binomial name
Pityopsis graminifolia
(Michx.) Nutt.
Pity gram dist.jpg
Natural range of Pityopsis graminifolia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Narrowleaf silkgrass

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Pityopsis graminifolia (Michaux) Nuttall var. graminifolia; Heterotheca nervosa (Willdenow) Shinners var. microcephala (Small) Shinners ex H.E. Ahles; Chrysopsis graminifolia (Michaux) Elliott var. graminifolia; Pityopsis microcephala (Small) Small; Chrysopsis graminifolia (Michaux) Elliott var. microcephala (Small) Cronquist; Heterotheca microcephala (Small) Shinners var. microcephala

Variety: Pityopsis graminifolia (Michaux) Nuttall var. latifolia Fernald; Pityopsis graminifolia (Michaux) Nuttall var. tenuifolia (Torrey) Semple & F.D. Bowers


A description of Pityopsis graminifolia is provided in The Flora of North America.




Pityopsis graminifolia is restricted to native groundcover with a statistical affinity in upland pinelands of South Georgia. [1]


P. graminifolia has been observed flowering in January, April, May, July, and from September to December.[2]

Seed dispersal

This species disperses by wind. [3]

Fire ecology

May or may not show fire-stimulated flowering, depending on variety or ecotype. [4] [5] [6]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Pityopsis graminifolia at Archbold Biological Station. [7]

Andrenidae: Andrena fulvipennis

Apidae: Bombus impatiens, Epeolus pusillus, Nomada fervida

Colletidae: Colletes mandibularis

Halictidae: Agapostemon splendens, Augochlora pura, Augochlorella aurata, Augochloropsis anonyma, A. metallica, A. sumptuosa, Halictus poeyi, Lasioglossum miniatulus, L. nymphalis, L. pectoralis, L. placidensis

Leucospididae: Leucospis robertsoni

Megachilidae: Anthidiellum notatum rufomaculatum, A. perplexum, Anthidium maculifrons, Coelioxys octodentata, C. sayi, C. texana, Dianthidium floridiense, Megachile albitarsis, M. brevis pseudobrevis, M. georgica, M. inimica, M. mendica, M. petulans, M. pruina

Sphecidae: Bicyrtes capnoptera, Cerceris tolteca, Philanthus ventilabris, Prionyx thomae, Trypargilum clavatum johannis

Vespidae: Parancistrocerus salcularis rufulus, Stenodynerus beameri

Use by animals

Buds fed upon by white-tailed deer. [8]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Ostertag, T.E., and K.M. Robertson. 2007. A comparison of native versus old-field vegetation in upland pinelands managed with frequent fire, South Georgia, USA. Pages 109–120 in R.E. Masters and K.E.M. Galley (eds.). Proceedings of the 23rd Tall Timbers Fire Ecology Conference: Fire in Grassland and Shrubland Ecosystems.
  2. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  3. 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.
  4. Brewer J.S. 1995. The relationship between soil fertility and fire-stimulated floral induction in two populations of grass-leaved golden aster, Pityopsis graminifolia. Oikos 74:45-54.
  5. Brewer, J. S. 2009. Geographic variation in flowering responses to fire and season of clipping in a fire-adapted plant. American Midland Naturalist 160:235-249.
  6. Gowe, A.K. and J. S. Brewer. 2005. The evolution of fire-dependent flowering in goldenasters (Pityopsis spp.). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 132:384-400.
  7. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  8. Brewer J.S. and Platt W.J. 1994. Effects of fire season and herbivory on reproductive success of a clonal forb, Pityopsis graminifolia. Journal of Ecology 82:665-675.