Sporobolus indicus

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Sporobolus indicus
Starr 080604-6157 Sporobolus indicus.jpg
Smut Grass, Sporobolus indicus, growing as a weed on Midway Atoll
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Sporobolus
Species: S. indicus
Binomial name
Sporobolus indicus
(L.) R.Br.

Sporobolus indicus is a species of grass known by the common name smut grass.[1]


This bunchgrass is native to temperate and tropical areas of the Americas.

It can be found in more regions, as well as on many Pacific Islands, as an introduced species and a common weed of disturbed habitat. It is naturalized in Hawaii, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Midway Atoll, and other areas.[2]


Sporobolus indicus is a perennial bunchgrass producing a tuft of stems up to about a meter-3 feet tall. The hairless leaves are up to 50 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a dense, narrow, spikelike panicle of grayish or light brown spikelets, its base sometimes sheathed by the upper leaf.

The inflorescence and upper leaves are sometimes coated in black smut fungus of the genus Bipolaris, the reason for the common name smut grass.[3]


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