Phalaris caroliniana

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Phalaris caroliniana
Scientific classification
P. caroliniana
Binomial name
Phalaris caroliniana

Phalaris caroliniana is a species of grass known by the common names Carolina canarygrass and maygrass. It is native to the southeastern United States, and it can be found as a naturalized species along the southern half of the United States to the west coast, as well as northern Mexico and parts of Europe and Australia. It is most often found in moist to wet habitat, such as marshy meadows, and it can thrive in disturbed areas. It is an annual grass reaching a maximum height between 1 and 1.5 meters. The hairy inflorescence is roughly oval in shape and up to seven centimeters long by two wide.

This grass probably made up part of the diet of prehistoric natives of the eastern United States, its grains having been identified in archaeological sites from Texas to Indiana to Alabama which may be four millennia old.[1] Laboratory analysis of the grass seed indicates that it is quite nutritious, with a good amount of vitamins and minerals.[2]


  1. ^ Roberts, K. M. Phalaris caroliniana. Archived 2010-07-06 at the Wayback Machine. Laboratory Guide To Archaeological Plant Remains From Eastern North America. Washington University St. Louis.
  2. ^ Crites, G. D. & R. D. Terry. (1984). Nutritive value of maygrass, Phalaris caroliniana. Economic Botany 38:1 114-20.

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