|Photo taken and permission granted by Daniel L. Nickrent (2006 ) from: PhytoImages|
|Division:||Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants|
|Class:||Liliopsida – Monocotyledons|
|Family:||Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae|
| Dichanthelium dichotomum|
|Natural range of Dichanthelium dichotomum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.|
Common name: Cypress panicgrass
Synonym: Panicum dichotomum Linnaeus; P. dichotomum var. dichotomum; P. dichotomum var. barbulatum (Michaux) Wood; D. dichotomum ssp. dichotomum; P. barbulatum Michaux
Varieties: Dichanthelium dichotomum (Linnaeus) Gould var. glabrifolium (Nash) Gould&Clark; Dichanthelium dichotomum (Linnaeus) Gould var. nitidum (Lamarck) LeBlond; Dichanthelium dichotomum (Linnaeus) Gould var. ramulosum (Torrey) LeBlond; Dichanthelium dichotomum (Linnaeus) Gould var. roanokense (Ashe) LeBlond
Dichanthelium dichotomum is a perennial graminoid. It tends to grow cespitose and despitose, in sprawling, loosely tangled mats. It is a single-stemmed grass.
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)." 
Specifically, for the D. dichotomum species, they are "perennial with distinct basal rosettes; branching, when present, from nodes above basal rosette. Leaves basal and cauline, vernal and autumnal. Culms 2-11 dm tall, weak to stout, nodes densely retrorsely bearded or beardless, internodes glabrous. Blades to 12 cm long, 3-12 mm wide, pilose, villous, or glabrous on both surfaces, margins scaberulous or scaberulous and ciliate; sheaths glabrous, pilose or villous; ligules ciliate, 1 mm long to obsolete, panicle 3-12 cm long, 2-8 cm broad; rachis glabrous or scaberulous, branches spreading to ascending, smoothish. First glume glabrous, acute or obtuse, 0.5-0.8 mm long, 2nd glume and sterile lemma glabrous or puberulent, obtuse, 1.4-2.4 mm long; fertile lemma and palea 1.4-2.4 mm long. Grain 1-1.2 mm long, yellowish or purplish, broadly ellipsoid or subglobose." 
D. dichotomum was among the species that responded positively to reduction of woody vegetation using triclopyr herbicide.
It thrives in wet areas, and has been found near brackish marshes, bogs, creaks, and ponds. Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum can be found in disturbed sites like roadsides, power line corridors, ditches, and clear-cuts. Dichanthelium dichotomum var. ensifolium can live in wet pine savannas. It can also be found in longleaf pine communities, loblolly pine communities, flatwoods communities, mixed hardwood slopes, cabbage palm hammocks, and mixed hardwood-loblolly pine forests.
This species prefers partial to deep shade, but appears on a variety of topographical features, from steep calcareous slopes, to granite rock outcrops, sandy clay hills, limestone glades, and floodplains. It occurs most commonly in sandy soils, including sandy clay, sandy loam, loose moist sand, sandy silt, and sandy peat.
Associated species include Uniola laxa, Hypericum mutilum, Quercus hemisphaerica, Q. laurifolia, Osmanthus americanus, Liquidambar styraciflua, Pinus glabra, Ilex americana, Acer rubrum, Schoenus nigricans, Gaillarda aestivalis, Stenaria nigricans, Carex gholsonii, Rhynchospora globularis, R. divergens, Polygala boykinii, Coreopsis lanceolata, Pholx pilosa, Triadenum, Boehmeria, Viola primulifolia, Cerastium, Linaria, Oxalis, Spartina, P. angustifolium, P. laxiflorum, Hedyotis, Polianthes, and Tragia.
Flowering has been observed in March through June, August, September, and November. Fruiting has been observed in March through September.
Dichanthelium dichotomum was common in the seed bank of a Florida flatwoods community. Dichanthelium dichotomum var. nitidum was found in the seed bank of both disturbed and undisturbed sites. This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.
Seed bank and germination
From observing the results of Taft's prescribed burns, fire seems to be required for germination. Seeds of Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum were found to be viable in the seed bank of a longleaf pine flatwoods community in Florida after years of fire exclusion.
It is fire-tolerant. Following an early, moderate-intensity dormant-season burn (November) in a dry sandstone barrens, D. dichotomum increased rapidly, probably as a result of the widespread stimulation of the seed bank. It was still observed on site six years after the burn.
Conservation and management
Cultivation and restoration
References and notes
- Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Sidney McDaniel, Loran C. Anderson, Travis MacClendon, Karen MacClendon, John B. Nelson, Frank W. Gould, R. K. Godfrey, Bayard Long, W. T. Batson Jr., Robert F. Thorne, Robert Kral, Delzie Demaree, H. A. Wahl, Duane Isely, S. L. Welsh, Dwight Isely, D. Windler, W. Gill, Harry E. Ahles, J. A. Duke, Brenda Herring, Walter Judd, Steve L. Orzell, E. L. Bridges, D. Kennemore, William P. Adams, R. A. Davidson, H. Kurz, Cecil R. Slaughter, Marc Minno, Bian Tan, R. J. Eaton, George R. Cooley, O. Lakela, Ann F. Johnson, Wilson Baker, R. A. Norris, K. Craddock Burks, C. J. Hansen, C. M. Morton, A. E. Radford, H. L. Blomquist, S. F. Blake, H. R. Reed, H. K. Svenson, F. H. Sargent, Randy Haynes, Annie Schmidt, G. R. Knight, and W. W. Ashe. States and Counties: Arkansas: Cleburne. Alabama: Chilton, Lee, and Mobile. Florida: Alachua, Baker, Brevard, Calhoun, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Martin, Monroe, Nassau, Okaloosa, Osceola, Putnam, Taylor, Volusia, and Wakulla. Georgia: Baker, Chatnam, Clinch, DeKalb, Echols, Grady, McIntosh, and Thomas. Louisiana: Ouchita. Maryland: Baltimore, and Prince Georges. Mississippi: Pearl River, Stone, and Webster. New Jersey: Atlantic and Cape May. North Carolina: Avery, Beaufort, Carteret, Clay, Granville, Onslow, Pender, and Wake. Pennsylvania: Lycoming and Monroe. South Carolina: Edgefield, Jasper, Lee, and Richland. Tennessee: Blount, Maury, and Putnam. Texas: Van Zandt. Virginia: Giles, Patrick, Roanoke, and Smyth.
- 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. 142-155. Print.
- Miller, J. H., R. S. Boyd, et al. (1999). "Floristic diversity, stand structure, and composition 11 years after herbicide site preparation." Canadian Journal of Forest Research 29: 1073-1083.
- Brewer, J. S., D. J. Baker, et al. (2011). "Carnivory in plants as a beneficial trait in wetlands." Aquatic Botany 94: 62-70.
- Cohen, S., R. Braham, et al. (2004). "Seed bank viability in disturbed longleaf pine sites." Restoration Ecology 12: 503-515.
- Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, et al. (2003). "Fire frequency effects on longleaf pine (Pinus palustris, P.Miller) vegetation in South Carolina and northeast Florida, USA." Natural Areas Journal 23: 22-37 Cohen, S., R. Braham, et al. (2004). "Seed bank viability in disturbed longleaf pine sites." Restoration Ecology 12: 503-515.
- Kalmbacher, R., N. Cellinese, et al. (2005). "Seeds obtained by vacuuming the soil surface after fire compared with soil seedbank in a flatwoods plant community." Native Plants Journal 6: 233-241.
- Kay Kirkman, Jones Ecological Research Center, unpublished database of seed dispersal mechanisms, 2005.
- Taft, J. B. (2003). "Fire effects on community structure, composition, and diversity in a dry sandstone barrens." Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 130: 170-192.
- Ruth, A.D., S. Jose and D.M. Miller. 2008. Seed bank dynamics of sand pine scrub and longleaf pine flatwoods of the Gulf Coastal Plain (Florida). Ecological Restoration 26:19-21.