Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bosc's Witchgrass - Dichanthelium boscii   (Poiret) Gould & Clark
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(Poiret) Gould & Clark
DistributionThroughout the state, but on the Coastal Plain only in nutrient-rich soils. Absent from the Sandhills proper and in some areas of the eastern Coastal Plain.

Western CT and IL south to FL and TX. Records from MA are misidentified D. latifolium.
AbundanceCommon throughout the Mountains and Piedmont, uncommon to infrequent in the Coastal Plain, but rare on the Outer Banks.
HabitatMesic hardwood forests, upper margins of brownwater floodplains, maritime forests; sometimes in drier situations but always in relatively nutrient-rich or mineral-rich soils.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-September.
IdentificationBosc's Witchgrass is rather easy to identify, with its large spikelets, broad and relatively short leaves, and dense "beard" of white hairs at the stem nodes.
Taxonomic CommentsNone, other than previously was named as Panicum boscii.

A 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".
Other Common Name(s)Bosc's Panicgrass -- the name used by most websites, but this website is leaving "panicgrass" to the Panicum (strict sense) species, and naming Dichanthelium species as "xxxxxx Witchgrass".
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorrieNags Head Woods Preserve, hardwood slope, April 2012. DareBIUPhoto_natural

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