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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Phalaris caroliniana (Carolina canarygrass)
Strickland, Sam C.

Phalaris caroliniana

Phalaris caroliniana Walter

Carolina Canarygrass, Maygrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: PHCA6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 5 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Seed heads when young are very green, turning tan when mature and dry.


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , FL , GA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NM , NV , OH , OK , OR , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Habitat: Loamy & alluvial soils, creek sides, in disturbed soils, fields, pastures.


Use Food: Seeds consumed by indigenous peoples of eastern North America before the arrival of maize.
Attracts: Birds

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1020 Collected 2007-05-11 in Hays County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 1222 - Rivers of Change: Essays on Early Agriculture in Eastern North America (1992) Smith, Bruce D.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Phalaris caroliniana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phalaris caroliniana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phalaris caroliniana


Record Modified: 2022-12-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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