Leptochloa panicea (Retz.) Ohwi

Feather Grass

Leptochloa panicea plant

Family - Poaceae

Stems - No info yet.

Leaves - No info yet.

Leptochloa panicea leaf baseLeaf base.

Leptochloa panicea leaf baseLeaf sheath.

Leptochloa panicea ligule

Inflorescence - No info yet.

Leptochloa panicea inflorescence

Leptochloa panicea inflorescenceBase of inflorescence.

Flowers - No info yet.

Leptochloa filiformia spikelet

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Riverbanks, lake margins, sloughs, bottomland forest openings, crop fields, ditches, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Old World and New World.

Other info. - This species is common in the southern half of Missouri. The plant can be identified by its scabrous leaf sheaths (due to the pustulate-based hairs), big inflorescences, and tiny spikelets. The inflorescences are mostly purple in strong sun and fade to a tan color as they mature. This often gives the inflorescences a distinctive bi-color look.
The species is divided into three subspecies. The subspecies panicea is native to the Old World. Subspecies brachtiata (Steud.) N. Snow has pubescent lemmas and and awnless glumes. Subspecies mucronata (Michx.) Nowack has glabrous lemmas and minute awns on the glumes. Steyermark noted that, in Missouri, subspecies mucronata has longer stems and larger inflorescences. I find this statement to be true much of the time.
A synonym for the species is Leptochloa filiformis (Lam.) P. Beauv.

Photographs taken off County Road 17 near St. Charles, AR., 9-1-06.