Aristida basiramea

"Forked Triple-awned Grass"

District Municipality of Muskoka - September 12, 2002
Photos by A. Sinclair - Scanned from original slides.

  • PHOTO 1: Large healthy plant growing in sand.
  • PHOTO 2: Several plants growing with lichens on sandy soil
  • PHOTO 3: Inflorescence with fruit
  • PHOTO 4: Older inflorescence, note long awns with coiled base

On September 12, 2002, Jim Goltz and Al Sinclair found a new location for Aristida basiramea on Beausoleil Is., Regional Municipality of Muskoka. This small late blooming grass, rated S1: Extremely rare in Ontario by NHIC, grows in open sandy areas where there is little competition. It is common in central North America. There are three other naturally occurring locations known for this species in Ontario, all in Simcoe County. After seeing one of the Simcoe sites Jim thought we might find it in similar habitat on Beausoleil Is. When we arrived at the island we walked up to the sandy field just south of the main landing and soon found the first plant. We searched the area carefully and estimated that there was over 500 plants growing in a small part of the field. Some of the plants showed the long awns with coiled bases that are diagnostic. A voucher specimen was taken as well as the photos above.