Tripsacum floridanum - Porter ex Vasey
Florida Gamagrass
Other Common Names: Florida gamagrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Tripsacum floridanum Porter ex Vasey (TSN 41288)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.134851
Element Code: PMPOA68020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Tripsacum
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Tripsacum floridanum
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Dec1997
Global Status Last Changed: 07Jan1985
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: A species with a very limited range and habitat. The Florida Natural Areas Inventory's database contains 23 occurrence records. The occurrences are distributed in Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida. The species is threatened by development and disruption of natural ecosystem processes.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Florida (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: A south Florida endemic known from Dade, Collier, and Monroe Counties, Florida. It has also been reported from Cuba and, less likely, from Texas by Gray (1974). Dr. Hugh Iltis (pers. comm. 1989) is doing the treatment of the genus for the New Manual of Grasses of North America but has not yet determined if these Texan and Cuban populations should be considered a part of T. floridanum.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: 23 occurrences recorded as of 1997(?).

Population Size Comments: "Moderately common in Everglades National Park."

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The loss of habitat to development is a threat; although no data are available, the exclusion of fire for long periods would likely also present a threat.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: A south Florida endemic known from Dade, Collier, and Monroe Counties, Florida. It has also been reported from Cuba and, less likely, from Texas by Gray (1974). Dr. Hugh Iltis (pers. comm. 1989) is doing the treatment of the genus for the New Manual of Grasses of North America but has not yet determined if these Texan and Cuban populations should be considered a part of T. floridanum.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States FL

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Collier (12021), Miami-Dade (12086), Monroe (12087)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Everglades (03090202)+, Florida Bay-Florida Keys (03090203)+, Big Cypress Swamp (03090204)+, Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A perennial grass, usually 1 m (or less) in height, growing from thick, knotty rhizomes. Leaf blades are usually not over 2 mm wide.
Technical Description: Cespitose perennial, usually less than 1 m tall. Rhizomes thick, knotty. Leaf sheaths glabrous. Ligule less than 1 mm, an often lacinate membrane. Leaf blades glabrous below, glabrate above, mostly involute to folded, to 90 cm long, 1-3.5 mm wide when flattened. Inflorescence a single (or rare paired) spike-like raceme 9.0-18.1 cm long, the individual florets all unisexual, the staminate at the distal end and the carpellate at the basal end. Staminate spikelets 5.3-7.7 mm long, paired with one sessile and the other pedicelled on the same side of the rachis, the pedicels often becoming shorter distally. Each spikelet with two florets, glumes firm, acute, lemmas hyaline acute and usually three nerved, paleas hyaline, two keeled and bifid, the stamens 3, anthers approximately 4-5 mm long. Carpellate spikelets, two flowered 5.7-6.3 mm long, solitary at each node of the rachis and opposite the preceding spikelet, fitting into a hollowed area in the expanded rachis, glumes indurate, acute, enclosing the spikelet, the second smaller than the first, lemmas hyaline, the first sterile, the second fertile. Disarticulation of the staminate spikelets in mass, the carpellate spikelets disarticulating singly with the associated rachis internode to form a nearly cylindrical dispersal unit 3.0-4.0 mm in diameter.

This description taken from Hall (1978), Gray (1974), DeWet et al. (1976), Hitchcock (1950), and personal observations by G. Guala of herbarium material at University of Florida (FLAS).

Diagnostic Characteristics: Tripsacum can be mistaken for Sorghastrum secundum or Tripsacum dactyloides. Diagnostic characters for the identification of this grass are first, the single spike-like raceme with staminate flowers making up the distal half and pistillate flowers making up the basal half, and second, the thin inrolled leaves.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: The individual florets are all unisexual. Staminate florets occur at the distal end and the capellate at the basal end. It has been noted that the species does not seem to bloom except after fire.
Ecology Comments: No work has been done specifically on the ecology of this species but it can be considered to be an integral part of the fire-maintained pine rockland ecosystem of South Florida. Although the species may or may not require fire, it is clear from herbarium specimens that it at least tolerates burning. Galinat & Craighead (1964) speculated that fire was responsible for keeping an area sufficiently open for the growth of the species. Herndon (1990) observed that Tripsacum floridanum has a post-fire bloom response; he has not seen the species bloom under any other conditions. He also notes that this grass species tolerates disturbed conditions and can grow abundantly on fill deposits.

Tetravahi (1968) did crossing studies with this species and found that it has the ability to outcross and would easily form hybrids with T. dactyloides.

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Low, rocky pine rocklands in the shallow soils of rock crevices which have some proportion of the redland soil characteristic of southeast Florida. Tends to occur in a specific microhabitat on the edge of low, open sites within the pine rocklands, such as on flooded trails.

Label data on herbarium specimens from FLAS and University of Wisconsin indicate that Tripsacum floridanum is almost always found in South Florida pinelands, presumably under a canopy of Pinus elliottii var. densa. Snyder (1984) found it in a Miami Rock Ridge site on Long Pine Key which had not been burned in 8 years and was dominated by P. elliottii var. densa with the most prominent size class being the 9-10 cm range. In this site, in general, solution holes are common, the water table occasionally reaches the surface, and the soils are neutral to slightly alkaline. Speices lists for this site are given but they are rather generalized due to the large size of the site. Many of the known collections have been made in pinelands with some proportion of the redland soil characteristic of southeast Florida. It is the opinion of this observer (G. Guala) and others (J. Snyder, pers. comm., 1989) that T. floridanum tends to occur in a specific microhabitat on the edge of low open sites within the pinelands, such as flooded trails, in the type of pineland just described. Herndon (1990) also notes that the Dade County pinelands are generally wetter than the Big Pine Key system where Tripsacum is found only in low depressions in the pinelands.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary
Help
Stewardship Overview: So very little is known about this species and its habitat may be so restricted that quick action is needed to find and monitor remaining populations as well as examine the biology so that a reasonable management plan can be constructed. Given the fairly close relationship of the genus to cultivated corn and the economic potential of the pathogen resistance found in T. floridanum (Simone & Hooker, 1976), sources of funding in the private sector or government agriculture sector may be available for further research and monitoring. Also, periodic fire is necessary to maintain the pine rocklands habitat where T. floridanum is found.
Restoration Potential: Basically unknown, but a collection at University of Florida (FLAS) is from a "Bulldozed Pineland". Whether this is a population that was disturbed and recovered or one that was missed by the bulldozer is unknown.
Management Requirements: Although specific habitat information is not available, preliminary management decisions can be based on the general habitat for Tripsacum floridanum. Periodic fire is necessary to maintain the pine rocklands habitat where Tripsacum floridanum is found. It has also been stated that this species is most commonly found in pinelands where the canopy is relatively open and free of woody understory species and that these sites are open as a result of periodic fire. This information indicates that fire management should continue with close monitoring of the effects on the populations of Tripsacum floridanum. It should also be noted that Tripsacum floridanum is found in low moist sites within or on the edge of the pine rocklands. These microhabitats may burn less frequently or with less intensity than the pineland proper.
Monitoring Requirements: Population surveys including detailed descriptions of known populations and habitat are needed. Information on the effects of fire on this species is essential for developing proper management techniques.

Because this is a rhizomatous plant, it may not be valid to consider each stem to be a separate plant but each clump can be considered an individual in an ecological study. The increase or decrease of the number of clumps in a given area along with some measure of coverage, especially in the large populations, would be very helpful if conducted for several years in a variety of habitat extremes. The mean ratio of male to female spikelets per inflorescence over time would also be a useful aspect to monitor, as well as pollen viability and seed set.


Management Programs: Fire management programs are in place for several publicly-owned sites that contain Tripsacum floridanum, although no species-specific monitoring has been developed for these populations.
Management Research Programs: No current research in progress.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Apr1991
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hardin, E.D. rev. D. White
Management Information Edition Date: 31May1990
Management Information Edition Author: GERALD F. GUALA, II AND DEBORAH WHITE
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 06Jul1992

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • DeWet, J.M.J., J.R. Gray and J.R. Harlan. 1976. Systematics of Tripsacum (Gramineae). Phytologia 33(3):203-227.

  • Galinat, W.C., and F.C. Craighead. 1964. Some observations on the dissemination of Tripsacum. Rhodora 66(768):371-374.

  • Gray, J. R. 1974. The genus Tripsacum L. (Gramineae): taxonomy and chemosystematics. Dissertation, University of Illinois.

  • Hall, D.W. 1978. The grasses of Florida. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida. Dissertation, U. of Florida. 498 pp.

  • Hitchcock, A. S. 1950. Manual of Grasses of the U. S. USDA Misc. Publ. #200.

  • Hitchcock, A.S. 1951. Manual of the grasses of the United States. 2nd edition revised by Agnes Chase. [Reprinted, 1971, in 2 vols., by Dover Publications, Incorporated, New York.]

  • KRAL, R. 1983.A REPORT ON SOME RARE,THREATENED,OR ENDANGEREDFOREST-RELATED VASCULAR PLANTS OF THE SOUTH.VOL I ISOETACEAETHROUGH EUPHORBIACEAE;VOL II AQUIFOLIACEA THROUGH ASTERACEAE& GLOSSARY.USDA FOREST SERV,SE REG.,ATL,GA. TECH PUBL R8-TP2

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kral, R. 1983c. A report on some rare, threatened, or endangered forest-related vascular plants of the South. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service Technical Publication R8-TP2, Athens, GA. 1305 pp.

  • Long, R.W., and O. Lakela. 1971. A flora of tropical Florida. Univ. Miami Press, Coral Gables, Florida. 962 pp.

  • Simone, G.W., and A.L. Hooker. 1976. Monogenic resistance in corn to Helminthosporium turcicum derived from Tripsacum floridanum. Proc. Am. Phytopathol. Soc. 3:207.

  • Snyder, J.R. 1984. The impact of wet season and dry season prescribed fires on Miami Rock Ridge Pineland, South Florida. Dissertation, University of Florida.

  • Tantravahi, R.V. 1968. Cytology and crossability relationships of Tripsacum. Thesis, Bussey Inst. Harvard Univ.

  • WUNDERLIN, RICHARD P. 1982. GUIDE TO THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF CENTRAL FLORIDA. UNIV. PRESSES OF FLA., TAMPA, ST. PETERSBURG, FT. MEYERS, SARASOTA

  • Wunderlin, R.P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Univ. Presses Florida, Gainesville. 472 pp.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2018.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2018 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.