The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

Madagascar dropseed, whorled dropseed

Habit Plants annual, or short-lived perennials flowering in the first year; cespitose, not rhizomatous.

7-35(60) cm, erect or decumbent.


rounded below, margins and apices hairy, hairs to 3 mm;

ligules 0.3-1 mm;

blades 2-12(20) cm long, 2-6 mm wide, flat, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial surface scabridulous, sometimes sparsely hispid, margins ciliate-pectinate.


4-15(18) cm long, 0.3-6 cm wide, open (contracted when immature), pyramidal;

lower nodes with 7-12(15) branches;

primary branches 0.5-4.5 cm, spreading 30-90° from the rachis, with elongated glands, without spikelets on the lower 1/3 – 1/2, secondary branches appressed;

pedicels 0.1-0.5 mm, appressed.


1.2-1.8 mm, plumbeous or brownish, often secund along the branch.


unequal, ovate to obovate, membranous;

lower glumes 0.3-0.7 mm, without midveins;

upper glumes 1.2-1.8 mm, at least 2/3 as long as the florets, often longer;

lemmas 1.2-1.7 mm, ovate to elliptic, membranous, glabrous, acute;

paleas 1.1-1.6 mm, ovate to elliptic, membranous, glabrous;

anthers 0.2-0.4 mm, yellowish or purplish.


0.6-1 mm, obovoid, faintly striate, light brownish.


= 24, 36, 54.

Sporobolus pyramidatus

from FNA
AR; AZ; CO; FL; IL; KS; LA; MD; MO; NE; NM; NY; OK; PA; TX; UT; HI; PR; Virgin Islands
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Sporobolus pyramidatus is native to the Americas, extending from the southern United States to Argentina. It grows in disturbed soils, roadsides, railways, coastal sands, and alluvial slopes in many plant communities, at elevations from 0-1500 m. Morphologically, it is very similar to the Eastern Hemisphere S. coromandelianus (Retz.) Kunth, suggesting that they are closely related.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 25, p. 119.
Parent taxa Poaceae > subfam. Chloridoideae > tribe Cynodonteae > Sporobolus
Sibling taxa
S. airoides, S. buckleyi, S. clandestinus, S. coahuilensis, S. compositus, S. contractus, S. creber, S. cryptandrus, S. curtissii, S. diandrus, S. domingensis, S. fimbriatus, S. flexuosus, S. floridanus, S. giganteus, S. heterolepis, S. indicus, S. interruptus, S. jacquemontii, S. junceus, S. nealleyi, S. neglectus, S. pinetorum, S. purpurascens, S. silveanus, S. tenuissimus, S. teretifolius, S. texanus, S. vaginiflorus, S. virginicus, S. wrightii
Synonyms S. pulvinatus, S. patens, S. argutus
Name authority (Lam.) Hitchc.
Web links