Calamagrostis pickeringii Gray

Pickering's Reed Grass

Habitat: Acid peats or sands, gravels and shores. [Coastal non-tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Newfoundland south to the mountains of Massachusetts and New York.

Aids to Identification: Identification of species of the genus Calamagrostis is usually difficult and dependent upon rather technical characters. They are all perennial grasses with long, narrow leaves, and 1-flowered spikelets with a tuft of hairs at the base of the lemma. This particular species grows to 20-70 cm. The leaf blades are 3-7 mm wide, tapering to the base, and rough beneath. The flowering cluster is dense and erect, 4-15 cm long, and the short awn (a slender bristle) is attached near the base of the lemma. The callus hairs are very short (up to 1.0 mm long).

Ecological characteristics: This species is known to occur in peatlands along the coast of downeast Maine.

Phenology: Fruits late June - early September

Family: Poaceae

Synonyms: Calamagrostis pickeringii Gray var. debilis ( Kearney) Fern. & Wieg.; Deyeuxia pickeringii (Gray) Vasey.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 3 town(s) in the following county(ies): Hancock, Washington.

Reason(s) for rarity: Uncommon through much of its range.

Conservation considerations: Known populations are in peatlands, sometimes along bordering roads. Maintenance of the hydrology is presumably important in this plant's persistence.