Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Rough-hair Witchgrass - Dichanthelium strigosum var. strigosum   (Muhlenberg) 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(Muhlenberg) Freckmann
DistributionCoastal Plain and Sandhills; disjunct in Graham County. The map shows only specimens verified by LeBlond and additional counties mapped by Blomquist (1948, specimens at DUKE). Specimens at other herbaria need to be checked.

Southeastern VA to southern FL and TX; disjunct in several places inland (NC, TN). Mex., W.I., C.A., S.A.
AbundanceUncommon to frequent.
HabitatMoist to wet Longleaf Pine savannas and flatwoods, seepage slopes and ecotones.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-October.
IdentificationThe D. strigosum group is notable in producing a loose to dense tuft or "cushion" of basal leaves, instead of the simple rosette found in nearly all other members of the genus. This tuft is pale green and the leaves differ little from the few (2-4) stem leaves. All leaves possess fine white hairs along margins. In vars. glabrescens and leucoblepharis, leaf surfaces are glabrate (vs. pilose in var. strigosum. Spikelets are pubescent in var. leucoblepharis (vs. glabrous in the other 2 varieties).
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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Global RankG5T5
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B.A. SorrieWalthour Moss Foundation, seepage slope recently burned, 2001. MoorePhoto_natural
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