Two-spike Crabgrass - Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Two-spike Crabgrass (Digitaria pauciflora)

This is a full shot of the plant in situ in Everglades National Park. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Poaceae
  • State: FL
  • Nature Serve ID: 161755
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/09/1992

Digitaria pauciflora is a blue-green to gray bunch grass that forms mounds of up to one meter (three feet) in diameter. Much of what is known regarding Digitaria pauciflora is taxonomic in nature (e.g. Hitchcock 1935; Webster and Hatch 1990; Wunderlin 1998). It is generally agreed upon that this species is currently known only from the Everglades pinelands (with the exception of a single occurrence which has since disappeared in the Richmond Pineland Complex (Bradley and Gann 1999; R. Hammer pers. comm.) Digitaria pauciflora appears to be fire tolerant, existing in ecosystems that are known to have frequent fires (Avery 1983; Bradley and Gann 1999).

Where is Two-spike Crabgrass (Digitaria pauciflora) located in the wild?


This species is known from rocky pinelands (Hitchcock 1935; Wunderlin 1988) or more specifically the fingerglades or ecotone between pine rockland and marl prairie, and edges of each ecosystem. These habitats can flood, especially the marl prairie, each wet season (Bradley and Gann 1999; Avery 1983).Associated species include: Pinus elliottii var. densa, Sabal palmetto, Schizachyrium rhizomatum, Vernonia blodgettii and Elytraria caroliniensis var. angustifolia.


This species is endemic to the Everglades region of central and southern Miami-Dade County along the Miami Rock Ridge, from South Miami to Long Pine Key, ranging approx. 42 miles (Avery 1983; Bradley

States & Provinces:

Two-spike Crabgrass can be found in Florida

Which CPC Partners conserve Two-spike Crabgrass (Digitaria pauciflora)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Currently known to occur only at one site in Everglades National Park, Florida where it occurs in an area of about 8,000 ha (31 square miles). Intense development pressure has decreased the quantity and quality of suitable habitat in the region, making further occurrences unlikely. Although the species' single population is generally protected from development within the Park, threats include plans for hydrologic restoration, changes in fire management, and establishment of invasive non-native plant species that change the frequency and intensity of fires in Digitaria pauciflora's available habitat.

Meghan Fellows
  • 01/01/2010

Threats include naturally occurring stochastic events, changes in hydrology, exotic plant invasion (Schinus terebinthifolius, Neyraudia reynaudiana) and alterations in fire patterns (Bradley and Gann 1999).

Meghan Fellows
  • 01/01/2010

Two hundred individuals remain at one site in Everglades National Park, Dade County, FL.

Meghan Fellows
  • 01/01/2010

Prescribed fires are part of a current management regime.

Meghan Fellows
  • 01/01/2010

Current research and management needs include understanding shifts in hydrology and alteration of fire patterns. Population monitoring and well as understanding reproductive biology and seedling recruitment requirements will aid in conservation efforts.

Meghan Fellows
  • 01/01/2010

Digitaria pauciflora is not currently in Fairchild Tropical Garden's ex situ collection.


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Taxon Digitaria pauciflora
Authority A.S. Hitchc.
Family Poaceae
CPC Number 1418
ITIS 40644
Common Names Everglades grass | few flowered crabgrass | few flowered fingergrass | finger grass | Florida pineland crabgrass | particular grass | two spike crabgrass | twospike crabgrass
Associated Scientific Names Syntherisma pauciflora | Digitaria pauciflora | Syntherisma pauciflorum
Distribution This species is endemic to the Everglades region of central and southern Miami-Dade County along the Miami Rock Ridge, from South Miami to Long Pine Key, ranging approx. 42 miles (Avery 1983; Bradley
State Rank
State State Rank
Florida S1
Ecological Relationships



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