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Calamagrostis stricta (Timm) Koel. ssp. stricta

Neglected Reed-grass

Habitat: Swales and shores, usually circumneutral. [Non-tidal rivershore (non-forested, seasonally wet)]

Range: Circumboreal, south to Newfoundland, northern Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, and California.

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 is very similar to New England northern reed-grass (C. stricta ssp. inexpansa). Both species grow to 30-100 cm in height, with spike-like flower clusters, and spikelets 3-5 mm long. Subspecies stricta is characterized by smooth leaves, and ligules 1-3 mm long with an entire apex.

Ecological characteristics: In Maine this species is known to occur on sparsely vegetated, rocky shorelines, as well as open ledges and outcrops in alpine settings.

Phenology: Fruits late June - August

Family: Poaceae

Synonyms: Formerly known as Calamagrostis neglecta (Ehrh.) P.G. Gaertn., B. Mey., & Scherb. Subspecies not delimited by Gleason and Cronquist (Second ed., 1991).

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 7 town(s) in the following county(ies): Aroostook, Franklin, Piscataquis.

Dates of documented observations are: 1893, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1991 (3), 1995, 1999, 2001 (9)

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range, and habitat naturally rare.

Conservation considerations: Populations along rivershores could be harmed if all-terrain vehicle use increases.