Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Western Woolly Witchgrass - Dichanthelium acuminatum var. fasciculatum   (Torrey) Freckmann
Members of Poaceae:
Members of Dichanthelium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Torrey) Freckmann
DistributionMountains and Piedmont; disjunct to Washington County. Records are from UNC Chapel Hill herbarium only, specimens annotated by R. LeBlond.

Newf. to B.C. south to FL and CA.
AbundanceProbably frequent in Mountains, uncommon in Pedmont, very rare eastward.
HabitatOpenings in montane pine-hardwoods and Piedmont pine-hardwoods, timber cuts, clearings, meadows, fields.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-September.
IdentificationSimilar to Woolly Witchgrass, but stems usually taller (1-2 feet) and much less hairy. The hairs on lower stems and sheaths are straight and +- stiff (ie, pilose) vs. soft and woolly.
Taxonomic CommentsA note about Dichanthelium: This genus is not impossible to identify to species! But it takes applied effort over a period of time in order to learn the various species and what their morphological limits are. We strongly recommend that you read the introduction to the treatment in Weakley et al. (2023), written by Richard LeBlond. LeBlond has made order out of near chaos, and his keys work very well for our plants. Most Dichanthelium taxa ("Dichs") do not grow everywhere indiscrimminately, but prefer certain well-defined habitats. Note that most species produce flowers/fruits twice a year -- a vernal period and an autumnal period -- and that measurements of spikelets and achenes are taken from vernal plants. Some species also have a third, or summer, period. In the vernal period there is a single inflorescence at the tip of the stem. In the autumnal period, plants produce elongate branches with bunched (congested) leaves and so look quite different from vernal plants. Inflorescences are produced in leaf axils as well as at the tips of branches. NOTE: Older texts had these species essentially all within the very large genus Panicum. "Dich" species are typically named as "Witchgrass" and Panicum species named as "Panicgrass".
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State RankS5
Global RankG5TNR
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