Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spotted-sheath Witchgrass - Dichanthelium yadkinense   (Ashe) Mohlenbrock
Members of Dichanthelium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Family Poaceae
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Author(Ashe) Mohlenbrock
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, Piedmont, and the southern Mountains. Likely undercollected in the Piedmont. Perhaps truly absent from much of the eastern Coastal Plain and northern mountains.

NJ to MI south to GA and TX; Mex.
AbundanceFrequent in the central and southern Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont; uncommon westward.
HabitatFloodplain forests and bottomlands, small stream swamps. Often occurs at the margins or banks of small rivers.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-October.
IdentificationThis is a member of the D. dichotomum complex, and is allied with the subgroup with glabrous stem nodes. It differs from D. dichotomum (sensu stricto) and from D. roanokense by leaf blades greater than 1 cm wide (vs. less than 1 cm wide in those species), and by its floodplain habitat.
Taxonomic CommentsIn some texts treated as a variety or subspecies of D. dichotomum.

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)Spotted-sheath Panicgrass, Yadkin Panicgrass
State RankS4? [S4]
Global RankGNR
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