Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Southern Crabgrass - Digitaria ciliaris   (Retzius) Koeler
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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Author(Retzius) Koeler
DistributionProbably statewide. This is a native species that was for decades lumped within Digitaria sanguinalis, an alien. Some records of D. "sanguinalis" may actually belong to D. ciliaris, but specimens need to be examined. The range map below may be somewhat incomplete, but there seem to be few specimens from the northeastern counties.

VA to NE, south to FL and NM.
AbundanceCommon to abundant over most of the state. Collectively, this species and D. sanguinalis are abundant statewide.
HabitatOpen sandy to loamy soils of disturbed areas: roadsides, woodland clearings, powerlines, scrapes, ditches, etc. True native habitat unknown.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional and Semi-Natural Grasslands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August-October.
IdentificationSouthern Crabgrass is closely allied to D. sanguinalis, differing in having longer spikelets (2.8-4.1 mm long vs. 1.7-3.4 mm long in the alien species), lateral veins of the lower lemmas smooth throughout or scabrous on the outer 1/3 (vs. scabrous on the outer 2/3 at least in D. sanguinalis).
Taxonomic CommentsFor decades this species was lumped under D. sanguinalis.

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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