Oplismenus setarius

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Oplismenus setarius
Opli hirt-spp-seta.jpg
Synonym Oplismenus hirtellus ssp. setarius shown, Photo by Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae
Genus: Oplismenus
Species: O. setarius
Binomial name
Oplismenus setarius
(L.) P. Beauv.
OPLI HIRT dist.jpg
Natural range of Oplismenus setarius from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: basketgrass, woods-grass[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Oplismenus hirtellus (Linnaeus) Palisot de Beauvois ssp. setarius (Lamarck) Mez ex Ekman[1]

Varieties: none[1]


Oplismenus setarius is a perennial grass.

"Creeping perennial; upright culms 1.5-3.5 dm tall, geniculate, nodes appressed pubescent or glabrous, internodes striate, puberulent, pubescent, or glabrous. Leaves cauline; blades ovate to lanceolate, 2-6 cm long, 2-20 mm wide, upper surface densely nerved centrally, pubescent, lower surface occasionally conspicuously septate, puberulent, margins ciliate, conspicuously shorter than internodes; ligules, membranous, ciliate, 0.51-.5 mm long; collars pubescent. Panicle narrow, 2-12 cm long, 1.5-2 cm broad; strongly winged-angled, scaberulous; lateral branches 1-10, scaberulous, less than 1cm long with 1-10 spikelets, occasionally pubescent at base of branches and between spikelets. Spikelets second, ovoid to ellipsoid, 2.5-3 mm long excluding wns; pedicels pubescent, less than 0.5 mm long. Frist glume strongly scaberulous keeled, lateral nerved obscure, margins obtuse, 0.2-0.6 mm long, 2nd glume and sterile lemma 3-nerved, pubescent or glabrous, scarious, acute, 2.5-3 mm long, sterile palea absent or rudimentary; fertile lemma and palea nerveless, apiculate to mucronate, 2.5-3 mm long. Grain yellowish, oblong to ellipsoid, 2-2.2 mm long."[2]


This species ranges from eastern North Carolina to Florida, then west to Arizona and Texas. It's also located throughout the Caribbean and Central America to central South America.[1]



O. setarius occurs in moist or wet loamy soil, from loamy humus to sandy loam.[3] It also seems to prefer partially to deeply shaded light conditions.[3] It can be found in mesic woodlands, live oak and mixed hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and situations near water, like woodland floodplains and bordering swamps or creeks.[3] It also occurs in disturbed habitat, including trailsides, roadsides, common use areas, and railways.[3]


This plant flowers from August to October.[1]

Fire ecology

Populations of Oplismenus setarius have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[4]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 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.
  2. 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. 131. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Ed Keppner, Lisa Keppner, Cecil R Slaughter, Loran C. Anderson, Cynthia A. Aulbach-Smith, A. Harris, J. Edmisten, R. A. Norris, R. Komarek, Robert K. Godfrey, K. Craddock Burks, Sidney McDaniel, Camm Swift, Gary R. Knight, R. Kral, Richard S. Mitchell, R. A. Pursell, _Morril, D. B. Ward, E. Pritchard, G. P. Dewolf, James R. Burkhalter, George Avery, G. Crosby, John Beckner, Sandy Thompson, Carmen Rossy-Valderama, R. L. Lazor, and E. L. Tyson. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Bay, Calhoun, Citrus, Dade, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Marion, Monroe, Osceola, Santa Rosa, St Lucie, Sumter, Volusia, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia: Grady. South Carolina: Beaufort. Other Countries: Costa Rica, Panama, and Puerto Rico.
  4. 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.