Leersia hexandra

Southern cut grass

Native to Florida

Species Overview

Cut grass leaf margins are sharp, and will cut skin. Southern cut grass is the most common Leersia in Florida and might first be encountered as floating mats in water, or along shorelines. It is a favorite food of many water birds. There are five Leersia species located in Florida (Wunderlin, 1998). In the US, Southern cut grass occurs in the southeast but extends west to TX and north to MD; and also occurs in PR (Kartesz, 1999).

Species Characteristics

Southern cut grass is a grass. Stems wiry, leaning, to 4 ft. long, nodes hairy, rooting at nodes; leaf blades flat, thin, tapering to a point, margins sharp, rough on both sides, to 3/4 in. wide, to 12 in. long; ligules distinctive, papery, thin; inflorescence open or slightly contracted; spikelets flattened, ridged, keeled, 1-flowered; flowers crowded toward branch tips to 3/16 in. long, stiff short hairs.