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Arundinaria tecta (Walter) Muhlenberg. Switch Cane, Small Cane, Mutton Grass. Phen: Apr-Jul. Hab: Pine savannas, pocosins, canebrakes, blackwater swamps, Piedmont seeps, generally (but not solely) in wetlands. Dist: Primarily of the Southeastern Coastal Plain, but extending to the eastern Gulf Coastal Plain and also Piedmont: e. MD to FL and s. AL.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: A. tecta is a smaller plant than A. gigantea (normally 1-2 m tall, but reaching heights of up to 4 m where fire-suppressed), and flowers more frequently, supposedly every 3-4 years (Tucker 1988), probably actually in response to fire. Taxon sampling suggests that even if A. tecta was at one time distributed west along the coastal plain from Florida to Louisiana, many contemporary populations of switch-cane-like plants may in fact be admixed with A. gigantea. Additional investigations are necessary to determine the extent to which A. tecta in the Gulf Coast region has been replaced by hybrids (see Arundinaria species 1).

Synonymy: = FlGr, FNA24, K3, K4, Tn, Va, Triplett (2023), Triplett, Weakley, & Clark (2006); = Arundinaria gigantea (Walter) Muhl. – Ward (2009c); = Arundinaria gigantea (Walter) Muhl. var. tecta (Walter) Scribn.; = n/a – Pa, Tat; < Arundinaria gigantea (Walter) Muhl. – C, GW1, RAB, WH3; < Arundinaria gigantea (Walter) Muhl. ssp. tecta (Walter) McClure – K1, Judziewicz et al (2000), McClure (1973); < Arundinaria tecta (Walter) Muhl. – F, HC, S, Tucker (1988)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW (taxonomic lump from wetland indicator species)
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW (taxonomic lump from wetland indicator species)
  • Great Plains: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Midwest: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 5

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Eric Blomberg source CC-BY | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Eric Blomberg source CC-BY | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Eric Blomberg source CC-BY | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Eric Blomberg source CC-BY | Original Image ⭷

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