*The following is based on Gann, G.D., K.A. Bradley & S.W. Woodmansee. 2002. Rare Plants of South Florida: Their History, Conservation, and Restoration. The Institute for Regional Conservation: Miami. For updated species accounts, see Citation below. For the original text, follow the link in the Update field. If no Update field is displayed, then cite as the original publication.


Leersia monandra Sw.

Bunch cutgrass


South Florida Status: Extirpated. Last collected in 1903 at Buena Vista, just north of present-day downtown Miami.

Taxonomy: Monocotyledon; Poaceae.

Habit: Perennial terrestrial herb.

Distribution: Native to peninsular Florida, the West Indies, Texas, and Mexico. Wunderlin (1998) reports it as rare in Florida in Citrus and Miami-Dade counties.

South Florida Distribution: Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

South Florida Habitats: Shell mounds, open disturbed sites, and presumably, sandy pine rocklands.

Protection Status: Not listed by any agency.

Aids to Identification: Hitchcock & Chase (1950) has an illustration.

References: Chapman, 1883; Small, 1933a; Hitchcock & Chase, 1950; Pyrah, 1969; Long & Lakela, 1976; Hall, 1978; Wunderlin, 1998; Liogier & Martorell, 2000.

Synonyms: Homalocenchrus monandrus (Sw.) Kuntze.



Historical Context: John Loomis Blodgett first collected bunch cutgrass between 1838 and 1953 on the island of Key West (s.n., NY). Alan H. Curtis made the next collection in 1882 in a cultivated field on Key Largo (3359, F, MO, NY, US). In 1903, Alvah A. Eaton made the last collection in the Florida Keys in the village of Newport on Key Largo (433, F), in the vicinity of what is now John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

In 1891, Joseph H. Simpson made a collection on Lostmans Key (202, US), a shell mound at the mouth of the Lostmans River in what is now Everglades National Park. It has not been reported from this area or from Everglades National Park since that time (cf. Reimus, 1999). Eaton made the last collection in 1903 at Buena Vista (453, US), which was located just north of present day downtown Miami. Bunch cutgrass was presumably collected in sandy pine rocklands.

Comments: The Citrus County specimen was collected in 1898 by R. Combs at Homosassa (981, NY). This species is apparently extirpated in Florida. Bunch cutgrass flowers in the fall, when surveys should be conducted.


Recommendations: · Consider introduction to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. · Consider introduction to Little Hamaca Park in Key West. · Consider restoring rockland hammocks on Key West and reintroducing bunch cutgrass. · Consider restoring sandy pine rocklands near the Miami River and reintroducing bunch cutgrass. · Review for listing by FDACS and FNAI.