Schizachyrium gracile

Schizachyrium gracile (Spreng.) Nash

Common Names: Wire Blue Stem

Family: Poaceae

Habit: Schizachyrium gracile grows as a clumping perennial up to 60 cm in height when flowering. The leaf sheaths often purplish. The round leaves are arranged alternately to 25 cm in length (usually shorter) with at basal sheath extending along the stem that is ciliate along the margin. At the point of divergence of the leaf sheath to the leaf blade is a ciliate scale ligule. The leaves are parallel veined.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in a raceme with long silky hairs emerging from the rachis and is bent at each node. At the base of each spikelet are 2 structures called glumes. In each spikelet there are flowering structures each is subtended by 2 additional structures (lemma and palea). The lemma is extended out into a bent awn. Each spikelet has 1 floret with 1 stamen and a superior ovary each with a single locule and seed.  The fruit is a caryopsis.

Habitat: Schizachyrium gracile grows in Pine Woodlands and roadsides

Distribution: Schizachyrium gracile occurs primarily on the northern pine island groupings but also northern Eleuthera and on the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Lucayan Archipelago, as well as the Greater Antilles, the Leeward Islands, Mexico, Guatemala, and Florida.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Schizachyrium gracile is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.