Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bog Witchgrass - Dichanthelium lucidum   (Ashe) LeBlond
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Members of Dichanthelium with account distribution info or public map:
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Author(Ashe) LeBlond
DistributionThroughout most of the state, with some gaps. Gaps in the northern Piedmont and Mountains are probably real. Apparently scarce in the northern Piedmont and absent on the Outer Banks.

MA to MI south to central FL and eastern TX.
AbundanceCommon in the Coastal Plain and Sandhills, uncommon to infrequent westward. The website editors suggest a State Rank of S4S5.
HabitatBlackwater streamheads, small stream swamps, cypress-gum swamps, savanna-pocosin ecotones, wet woods, pocosins, montane bogs. Usually grows in sphagnum moss.
See also Habitat Account for General Sedge, Grass, and Rush Mires
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-October.
IdentificationThe vernal plants are erect, few-leaved, and have small spikelets, much like D. ensifolium but always separated by its papillose lemmas (with tiny bumps). It is very soon overgrown by the autumnal phase in which the plants are very "lazy", highly branched, and form wide-spreading patches.
Taxonomic CommentsThe papillose lemmas are almost unique in our witchgrasses; they are also found in the very different D. webberianum.

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 (2018), 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)Shining Rosette-grass
State Rank[S4S5]
Global RankG4 [G4G5]
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