Dichanthelium polyanthes (Schult.) Mohlenbr.

Panic Grass


CC = 6
CW = 3
MOC = 0

© DETenaglia

Family - Poaceae/Paniceae

Stems - To 60cm tall, erect, herbaceous, typically simple but sometimes branching in the fall, single or multiple from the base, glabrous. Nodes glabrous or with short appressed hairs.

Leaves - Leaves of basal rosette different than those of the stem. Basal leaves elliptic. Cauline leaves linear-lanceolate, to +/-20cm long, +/-2.5cm broad, sheathing, rounded a the base, glabrous on the surfaces, with hairs on the margins near the base. Some of the hairs with pustulate bases. Sheath glabrous but hairy on the margins.


© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - A dense branching panicle to +10cm tall (long). Spikelets mostly at the tips of the panicle branches. The branches os the panicle mostly glabrous.


© DETenaglia

Flowers - Spikelets small, +/-1.5mm long, broadly elliptic to orbicular. Lower glume glabrous. Upper glume fine hairy (rarely glabrous), rounded at the apex, to 1.8mm long.

Flowering - May - September or July - November.

Habitat - Upland prairies, glades, ledges of bluffs, mesic to dry upland woods, bottoms, streambanks, disturbed sites, roadsides. Usually on acid substrates.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found mostly in the lower 2/3 of Missouri. The plant is fairly easy to ID in the field because of its dense inflorescence, tiny spikelets, and dimorphic leaves.

This species was formerly known as a variety of Panicum sphaerocarpon (Panicum sphaerocarpon var. isophyllum). It is distinguished by having glabrous nodes and an inflorescence about twice as long as wide. Panicum sphaerocarpon var. sphaerocarpon (now simply known as Dichanthelium sphaerocarpon) has pubescent nodes and an inflorescence that is about as long as wide.

Photographs taken on Stegal Mountain, MO., 7-15-03.