Tridens carolinianus

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Tridens carolinianus
Trid caro.jpg
Photo by Steve Dickman, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae
Genus: Tridens
Species: T. carolinianus
Binomial name
Tridens carolinianus
(Steud.) Henr.
TRID CARO dist.jpg
Natural range of Tridens carolinianus from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Carolina fluffgrass, Carolina triodia

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Triodia drummondii Scribner & Kearney


"Erect rhizomatous perennials. Spikelets compressed, glumes similar, shorter than lowest lemma. Lemmas 3-nerved, nerves ciliate, reduced upward, chartaceous; paleas equaling lemmas. Articulation below florets." [1]

"Perennial from elongate, scaly rhizomes, 2.5-5 mm thick; culms 8-12 dm tall, nodes and internodes glabrous. Leaves cauline, to 3.5 dm log, 2-7 mm wide; upper blades glabrous on both surfaces, lower blades sparsely pilose on both surfaces basally, margins smooth scaberulous; upper sheaths glabrous, lower, pilose; ligules ciliolate, 0.5 mm long. Panicle 9-15 cm long, 1-4 cm broad; branches ascending, glabrous. Spikelets 4-5 flowered, 7-9 mm long, 2-3 mm broad. Glumes 1-nerved, chartaceous, glabrous, retuse, cuspidate; 1st glume 3.5-4.5 mm long, 2nd glume 4-5 mm long; lemmas retuse, cuspidate, longest 4-5 mm long. Grain yellowish, ellipsoid, 2-2.5 mm long." [1]




In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Georgia, T. carolinianus has been found in open longleaf pine forests; loamy sand of open pinewoods sandhill; annually burned pinelands; longleaf pine-live oak forests; sandy loam of longleaf pine-deciduous scrub oak forests; mesic longleaf pine-oak-persimmon community; and open, mesic pine flatwoods. [2] It has also been found in disturbed habitats such as pastures and old fields. Associated species include Quercus margarettae, Q. incana, Q. falcata, Liatris gracilis, Liatris tenuifolius, Ceanothus americanus, Aristida beyrichiana, Pityopsis graminifolia var. tenuifolia, Schizachyrium tenerum, Eriogonum tomentosum, Licania michauxii, and Ctenium. [2]


It flowers and fruits August through November. [2]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [3]

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. 63. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, Robert K. Godfrey, Roy Komarek, Angus Gholson, J. M. Kane, R. Kral, John B. Nelson, B. A. Sorrie. States and Counties: Florida: Gulf, Jackson, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, Washington. Georgia: Baker, Grady, Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  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.