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Hairy Maidencane Amphicarpum amphicarpon

Previously known as:

  • Amphicarpum purshii
Description

Pursh's blue maidencane is an annual grass in the Poaceae (grass) family.  It was named after botanist Frederick Pursh in 1950. 

Its growth habit is quite similar to peanuts, with the plant producing subterranean fruits early in the growing season and aerial fruits later in the growing season.  Both types of fruits are fertile.  

It is found in sandy pine forests, wet pine savannas, wetlands, ponded locations, and small bays along the shores and rivers of the eastern United States from New Jersey to Georgia.  It is typically found in locations where sphagnum moss grows.  Trampling along the shoreline by ATV's and foot traffic, and the presence of overgrowth are considered threats to the survival of this plant.  In North Carolina, it can be found in numerous coastal counties, however, it is considered as a Watch List species.  

Its flowers occur in scaly structures called spikelets and are raised above the leaves on narrow, erect branches.  They appear in the form of a panicle, with lengths of 8".  Its leaves, sheaths and blades are all pubescent.  The lower blades can reach heights of up to 30", with a width of one-half inch.  The upper leaves are narrower.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Quick to burn during forest fires.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#riparian#wetlands#grass-like#native ornamental grass#native annual#FACW#wet soils tolerant#native#annual#grass#culms
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#riparian#wetlands#grass-like#native ornamental grass#native annual#FACW#wet soils tolerant#native#annual#grass#culms
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Amphicarpum
    Species:
    amphicarpon
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wetlands
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    North America, northeastern USA and southeast
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Two types of flowers are produced by this plant. The aerial flowers produce conventional seeds, while underground self-fertile flowers produce underground seeds.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The linear or lanceolate hairy leaves are mostly basal.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden