Sporobolus stapfianus is a member of one of the largest and most important plant families, the Poaceae, but, alas, as Gaff et al. have put it, it is “obscure”. In this case, the desiccation tolerance is not apparent in all tissues, but is restricted to immature leaves of intact plants, and an as yet uncertain portion of the root system. Young leaves can tolerate drying to a comparable to the dryness of seeds for at least a year. Additional stress tolerances are to ionizing radiation, extreme temperatures and salinity to at least 215 mM NaCl.
A. arenosa is a wonderful model for understanding the mechanisms and effects of repeated genome duplication and hybridization events, and for studying ecological adaptation. It is found throughout Europe in a variety of disturbed area types (mountain slopes, forest margins, roadsides, railroad tracks, river banks and grassy and sandy areas), and from sea level up to 2000 m, with genetic specializations to a wide variety of edaphic conditions.