Plant Guide > Grasses > Sand Grass

Sand Grass

Sand GrassTriplasis purpurea (Walt.) Chapm.

Sand-grass, thick and rigid of leaf, is a tufted plant of the beaches, and, like a few other salt-water grasses of the Atlantic coast, it is also found on Western ranges.

It is very different in appearance from such species as Marram Grass, Bitter Panic-grass, and Creek Sedge, which also grow by the shore, but like them it does not bloom until late summer.

Many stems, usually less than two feet tall, spring from one root and bear very short, narrow, rough leaves. The panicles, also, are short, with but a few stiff branches, and bear loosely flowered, rose-purple spikelets.

The outer scales are smooth but the flowering scales are fringed and bearded, presenting a distinguishing feature by which this grass may easily be recognized, and the acid taste of the plant is also peculiar to it.

Sand-grass. Triplasis purpurea (Walt.) Chapm.

Perennial, tufted.

Stem 1-3 ft. tall, erect or spreading. Nodes usually downy. Ligule a ring of short hairs. Leaves rigid, awl-shaped, 1/2'-3' long, 1" wide or less.

Panicle 1'-3' long, branches few, at length spreading. Lateral panicles usually included in the sheaths. Spikelets 2-5-flowered, 2"-4" long, loosely flowered. Outer scales about equal, smooth; flowering scales very hairy on nerves, 2-lobed at apex and bearing a short, straight awn between the lobes; palets hairy on upper part of keels. Stamens 3.

Sandy soil, especially along the coast. July to September.

Maine to Florida, westward to Nebraska and Texas.