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Andropogon Virginicus

Andropogon Virginicus

Andropogon Virginicus

Andropogon virginicus is a species of grass known by several common names, including broomsedge bluestem, yellowsedge bluestem and (in Australia, because it was introduced to that country after being used as packaging for bottles of American whiskey) whiskey grass. It is native to the southeastern United States and as far north as the Great Lakes. It is known as an introduced species in California and Hawaii, where it is weedy.

Andropogon

Andropogon virginicus is a perennial grass forming narrow clumps of stems up to just over a meter in maximum height [approx. 3 feet 3 inches]. Its stems and leaves are green when new, turning purplish to orange and then straw-colored with age. It produces large amounts of seeds small enough to disperse on the wind. This grass is successful in a wide range of habitats. It is a prolific seed producer, it has a high germination rate and seedling survival rate, and it thrives in poor soils. This perennial bunchgrass sometimes forms continuous cover in boggy, open mesic and dry habitats. It releases highly persistent allelopathic substances (Rice 1972, In Smith). The dead material provides an excellent fuel for fires. It is fire-stimulated; its cover increases dramatically with each fire (Smith, Parman, and Wampler, 1980, in Smith). In areas where it occurs, both fire intensities and acreage burnt have increased, (Smith). Work in Oklahoma in the US showed no change with a single spring burn, an increase with two spring burns, and that it was drastically reduced with a summer or fall burn when soil conditions were dry. Andropogon virginicus invades forest and other native vegetation, along tracks, (ESC, undated). Nearly pure stands can persist as a result of competition and allelopathy, (Uchytil, 1992).

: A Risk assessment of Andropogon virginicus for Australia was prepared by Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) using the Australian risk assessment system (Pheloung, 1995). The result is a score of 13 and a recommendation of: reject the plant for import (Australia) or species likely to be a pest (Pacific).The "invasion of native plant communities by exotic perennial grasses" was recently listed as a "key threatening process" in New South Wales, and whisky grass (Andropogon virginicus) is one of the species specifically mentioned in this listing. Whisky grass (Andropogon virginicus) is also mentioned as being a significant threat or principal weed species in eucalypt grassy forest/woodlands of the New England Tableland bioregion and swamp sclerophyll forests on coastal floodplains, both of which are endangered ecological communities in New South Wales. (Source: keyserver.lucidcentral.org)

 

 

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