Dichanthelium aciculare

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Dichanthelium aciculare
Dichanthelium aciculare PHFP B 2015-05-18 KMR.jpg
Photo taken by Kevin Robertson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae
Genus: Dichanthelium
Species: D. aciculare
Binomial name
Dichanthelium aciculare
(Desv. ex Poir.) Gould & C.A. Clark
DICH ACIC dist.jpg
Natural range of Dichanthelium aciculare from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Needleleaf rosette grass; Needleleaf witchgrass

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Panicum aciculare Desvaux ex Poiret; Dichanthelium aciculare ssp. aciculare; P. bennettense M.V. Brown;

Description

Generally, for the Dichanthelium genus, they have "spikelets usually in panicles, round or nearly so in cross section, 2-flowered, terminal fertile, basal sterile, neutral or staminate. First glume usually present, 2nd glume and sterile lemma similar; fertile lemma and palea indurate without hyaline margins. Taxonomically our most difficult and least understood genus of grasses, more than 100 species an varieties are ascribed to the Carolinas by some authors. Note general descriptions for species groups (e.g., 1-4, 5-8, 9-13, and 26-62)." [1]

Specifically, for the D. aciculare species they are "perennial with distinct basal rosettes; branching, when present, from nodes above basal rosette. Leaves basal and cauline, vernal and autumnal. Culms 1.5-6 dm tall, nodes bearded internodes long pilose. Blades to 8 cm long, lower blades 1-6 mm wide, uppermost less than 2 mm wide, glabrous or pilose on both surfaces, margins glabrous, usually long ciliate basally; sheaths pilose or puberulent; ligules ciliate, 1-3 mm long. Autumnal blades involute, 0.5-2 mm wide, glabrous to sparsely pilose on both surfaces. Panicle exserted, 2-7 cm long, 1-5 cm broad; rachis glabrous or puberulent, branches spreading-ascending, scaberulous, occasionally pilose basally. Spikelets obovoid, 1.5-2 mm long; pedicels scaberulous. First glume glabrous, scarious, acute, 0.6-0.8 mm long, 2nd glume and sterile lemma pubescent or puberulent, obtuse, 1.6-2 mm long; fertile lemma and palea 1.5-1.8 mm long, nerveless or faintly nerved, yellowish or brownish at maturity, lustrous, acute, or obtuse. Grain 1 mm long, yellowish or purplish, broadly ellipsoid or subglobose."[1]

Distribution

Ecology

Habitat

Dichanthelium aciculare habitats include wet pine flatwoods, dune swales, bayheads, Myrica flats, turkey oak barrens, longleaf pine/turkey oak woods, creek banks, flooded cattail sloughs, depression marshes, coastal hammocks, longleaf pine/scrub oak ridges, cabbage palm/mixed oak communities, bog margins, sand pine scrubs, open palmetto scrubs, coastal scrubs, and edges of cypress depression swamps. It has also been recorded in disturbed areas such as along highways, man-made ponds, roadsides, and old fields. Associated species include Pinus palustrus, Quercus laevis, Aristida beyrichiana, Baccharis and Myrica. Soil types include loam, sand, sandy peat, sandy clay, loamy sand, coarse sand, and silt.[2]

Phenology

It has been observed flowering April through October and fruiting in May.[2]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by ants and/or explosive dehiscence. [3]

Fire ecology

It has been observed in recently burned mesic pine flatwoods and a frequently burned low hillside seepage slope.[2]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 142-152. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Tara Baridi, H.L. Blomquist, Edwin L. Bridges, W.C. Brumbach, R.B. Channel, A.F. Clewell, Richard R. Clinebell II, R.A. Davidson, Delzie Demaree, Rex Ellis, R.K. Godfrey, Ann F. Johnson, R. Kral, Sidney McDaniel, R. A. Norris, Steve L. Orzell, A.E. Radford, H.R. Reed, Lloyd H. Shinners, Cecil R. Slaughter, John W. Thieret, R.F. Thorne, West, Ben Wheeler. States and Counties: Alabama: Covington, Houston. Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Polk, Putnam, Volusia, Wakulla, Washington. Georgia: Baker, Grady, McIntosh, Mitchell,Thomas. Louisiana: Jackson, Ouachita, Vernon. Mississippi: Harrison, Jackson, Lauderdale,Pearl River. North Carolina: Craven, Durham. South Carolina: Clarendon, Edgefield. Texas: Freestone, Van Zandt. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  3. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.