Dichanthelium leucothrix

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Dichanthelium leucothrix
Dich leuc.jpg
Photo by Guy Anglin, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae ⁄ Gramineae
Genus: Dichanthelium
Species: D. leucothrix
Binomial name
Dichanthelium leucothrix
(Nash) Freckmann
DICH LEUC dist.jpg
Natural range of Dichanthelium leucothrix from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: rough panicgrass, rough witchgrass, roughish witchgrass

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Dichanthelium acuminatum ssp. leucothrix (Nash) Freckmann & Lelong; Panicum acuminatum Swartz var. leucothrix (Nash) Lelong; P. leucothrix Nash; P. spretum var. leucothrix (Nash) D.B. Ward[1]

Varieties: none.[1]


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)." [2]

Specifically, for the D. leucothrix species, they are "perennial with distinct basal rosettes; branching, when present, from nodes above basal rosette. Leaves basal and cauline, vernal and autumnal. Culms 3-6.5 dm tall, nodes slightly bearded, internodes glabrous or pilose. Blades to 6 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, glabrous above, setose basally, puberulent beneath, margins scaberulous, basally ciliate; sheaths sparsely pilose or glabrous, margins occasionally ciliate; ligules ciliate, 2-3 mm long. Panicle 3-6 cm long, 2.5-4 cm broad; rachis appressed pilose or glabrous, branches spreading, smoothish. Spikelets ellipsoid, 1.2-1.4 mm long; pedicels smoothish. First glume glabrous or pubescent, truncate or acute, 0.2-0.5 mm long, 2nd glume and sterile lemma pubescent, obtuse, 1.2-1.4 mm long; fertile lemma and palea 1.1-1.5 mm long. Grain not seen." [2]




Dichanthelium leucothrix can occur in longleaf pine-wiregrass flatwoods, and cypress-gum depressions in flatwoods. [3]

Dichanthelium leucothrix is an indicator species for the Lower Panhandle Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[4]

Fire ecology

Populations of Dichanthelium leucothrix have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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. 142-155. Print.
  3. Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: H.L. Blomquist and Robert K. Godfrey. States and Counties: Florida: Liberty. North Carolina: Carteret.
  4. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  5. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.