Plants usually perennial; cespitose from a knotty base. Culms
20-70 cm, erect to sprawling, simple or sparingly branched from the lower nodes.
Sheaths glabrous; ligules 0.1-0.3 mm; blades 1.3-8.5 cm
long, 2-8 mm wide, glabrous. Panicles 8-23.5 cm; branches 2-15
cm, ascending, widely spreading, or reflexed, spikelet-bearing from the base
or naked for less than 1/3 of their length. Spikelets with (1)2-3(4)
florets. Glumes to 6 mm, sometimes widely divergent; lemmas of bisexual
florets 1.5-2.3 mm, unawned or awned, awns 0.7-2.2 mm; terminal sterile
florets minute, rudimentary, awned, awns not exserted from the spikelets;
anthers 3, 0.5-0.8 mm. Caryopses 1.2-1.5 mm long, 0.3-0.4 mm wide.
2n = unknown.
Gymnopogon chapmanianus grows in sandy pine barrens and sites
inhabited by dwarf palmetto, Serenoa repens. As interpreted here, G.
includes G. floridanus Swallen. Smith (1971)
treated the two as distinct species, but he acknowledged that they overlapped
morphologically, ecologically, and geographically. Subsequent fieldwork
has not supported the recognition of two entities. Smith's most intriguing
observation was that only plants fitting the G. floridanus end
of the morphological range produced mature caryopses. The reproductive
biology of G. chapmanianus