Species Factsheets

Scheuchzeria palustris

Pod-grass

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State Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G5 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1

Did You Know?

If the raw fruit of this species were to be squeezed it would give off a pool like, chlorine smell.

Scheuchzeria palustris

Description

Pod-grass (Scheuchzeria palstris) is a perennial grass-like plant, greatly resembling a rush (Juncus sp.), with a zig-zag stem that may grow to 1.5m in height. The plant often forms colonies because of the presence of wide-spreading underground stems, or rhizomes. The hairless leaves are alternately arranged, consisting of a prominent basal sheathing portion that envelopes the stem and a linear and elongate, ascending blade that is 5-30cm in length and less than 1-4mm in width. The most distinctive leaf feature may be the presence of a small pore-like opening just below the tip. The minute flowers, appearing in late May to July, are greenish and often tinged with yellow or red, 2-4mm in length, and occur in stalked clusters above the leaves. The plant gets its common name, and is probably most conspicuous, in the fruiting stage, which consists of a dry pod, typically grouped in threes and connected at their bases, containing small seeds.

Rank Justification

Critically imperiled in the nation or state because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences) or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.

Habitat

Pod-grass has a transcontinental range across the cooler regions of North America. In Pennsylvania, it represents a northerly species, and has been documented historically mostly in the northern counties. It grows in bogs and peaty wetlands.

Survey Dates

Flowers, fruits late June - early August

Distribution

Pod-grass"

Threats

The viability of populations of pod-grass and its habitat may be enhanced by creating buffers and protecting the natural hydrology surrounding wetlands and controlling invasive species. Pod-grass is often an indicator for bog habitats that may feature various orchids, insectivorous plants such as sundew, bladderwort, and pitcher plant, and other interesting species.

Conservation Status Map

Pod-grass"

Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org.

http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/rannoch-rush

  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at http://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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