Dichanthelium strigosum

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Dichanthelium strigosum
Dich strig.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. strigosum
Binomial name
Dichanthelium strigosum
(Muhl. ex Elliott) Freckmann
DICH STRI dist.jpg
Natural range of Dichanthelium strigosum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: roughhair rosette grass, roughhair witchgrass, hairless witchgrass, dwarf witchgrass, rough-hairy witchgrass

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Dichanthelium leucoblepharis (Trinius) Gould & Clark var. glabrescens (Grisebach) Gould & Clark; D. strigosum ssp. glabrescens (Grisebach) Freckmann & Lelong; Panicum polycaulon Nash; D. leucoblepharis (Trinius) Gould & Clark var. leucoblepharis; D. strigosum ssp. leucoblepharis (Trinius) Freckmann & Lelong; Panicum ciliatum Elliott; P. strigosum Muhlenberg var. leucoblepharis (Trinius) Lelong; D. leucoblepharis (Trinius) Gould & Clark var. pubescens (Vasey) Gould & Clark; D. strigosum ssp. strigosum; P. strigosum Muhlenberg ex Elliott; P. strigosum var. strigosum[1]

Varieties: Dichanthelium strigosum (Muhlenberg ex Elliott) Freckmann var. glabrescens (Grisebach) Freckmann; Dichanthelium strigosum (Muhlenberg ex Elliott) Freckmann var. leucoblepharis (Trinius) Freckman; Dichanthelium strigosum (Muhlenberg ex Elliott) Freckmann var. strigosum; D. polycaulon (Nash) Wipff[1]


Dichanthelium strigosum is a perennial graminoid that tends to grow in thick mats. [2]

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)." [3]

Specifically, for the D. strigosum 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 dm tall, nodes bearded, internodes long pilose. Blades to 6 cm long, 2-6 mm wide, softly pilose on both surfaces, margins long ciliate; sheaths pilose to almost glabrous; ligules ciliate, 1-2.5 mm long. Panicle 5-7 cm long, 3-5.5 cm broad; rachis long pilose, branches ascending-spreading, pilose basally. Spikelets obovoid to broadly ellipsoid, 1.2-1.6 mm long; pedicels smoothish. First glume glabrous,, acute, or obtuse, 0.8-1 mm long, 2nd glume and sterile lemma glabrous, acute, 1.2 mm long; fertile lemma and palea 1-1.2 mm long. Grain 0.8-1 mm long, yellowish or purplish, broadly ellipsoid or subglobose." [3]


Generally, D. strigosum can be found in the southeastern United States from Texas to Tennessee and Virginia, and it is also native to Puerto Rico.[4] D. strigosum var. glabrescens is native to south Georgia and Florida west to Louisiana, disjunct in southeast North Carolina, and also native to the West Indies and Belize. D. strigosum var. leucoblepharis is native from North Carolina to Florida and to Texas as well as Mexico. D. strigosum var. strigosum is native from southeast Virginia south to Florida, west to Texas, and also in Tennessee, eastern Mexico, northern South America, Mesoamerica, and the West Indies.[1]



D. strigosum can be found in relatively undisturbed areas, including longleaf pine savannas,[5] saw palmetto-wax myrtle thickets, sandhill ridges, and bogs. [2] However, D. strigosum also occurs in disturbed areas like power line corridors, roadsides, fields, and clear-cuts. [2] This species seems to prefer moist sandy soils.[2] D. strigosum var. glabrescens can be found in low and open hammocks and sandy pinelands as well as bogs, D. strigosum var. leucoblepharis can be found in acidic and sandy soils of pinelands, and D. strigosum var. strigosum can be found in moist soils of savannas, pine flatwoods, pocosins, and also other boggy situations.[1] As well, D. strigosum var. leucoblepharis is a characteristic species of the north Florida mesic flatwoods and upper panhandle savannas, and D. strigosum var. glabrescens is a characteristic species of the calcareous savannas in Florida.[6] A study exploring longleaf pine patch dynamics found D. strigosum to be most strongly represented within longleaf pine gaps and under patches of longleaf that are up to 90 years of age.[7] D. strigosum var. leucoblepharis is frequent and abundant in the North Florida Mesic Flatwoods, Calcareous Savannas, and Upper Panhandle Savannas community types as described in Carr et al. (2010).[8]

Associated species include Rhynchospora pusilla, Ludwigia linifolia, Andropogon, Schizachyrium, Eupatorium, Serenoa repens, Juniperus, Schoenus. [2]


General flowering times of D. strigosum var. glabrescens and var. leucoblepharis is between May and October while general flowering time of D. strigosum var. strigosum is between May and September.[1] Flowering and fruiting has been observed in February, as well as April through August.[2][9]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[10]

Seed bank and germination

D. strigosum was found in the seed banks of longleaf pine and ecotone (scrub and longleaf) habitats in the western panhandle region of Florida. [11]

Fire ecology

This species is commonly found in fire dependent pinelands and savannas.[6] Populations can tolerate biennial, early growing season prescribed fires,[5] and have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[12]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 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 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Cecil R. Slaughter, Loran C. Anderson, S. W. Leonard, A. E. Radford, H. L. Blomquist, D. S. Correll, Wm. G. Atwater, Robert Kral, O. Lakela, R. Komarek, K. E. Blum, R.K. Godfrey, Ed Tyson, A. F. Clewell, Annie Schmidt, Wilson Baker, Richard W. Pohl, Frank W. Gould, and H. Kurz. States and Counties: Alabama: Convington. Florida: Bay, Brevard, Dade, Escambia, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Polk, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia : Baker and Thomas. North Carolina: Brunswick. South Carolina: Greenwood and Jasper. Other Countries: Panama (United States of America).
  3. 3.0 3.1 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. 142-151. Print.
  4. USDA, NRCS. (2016). The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 2 May 2019). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Thaxton, J. M. (2003). Effects of fire intensity on groundcover shrubs in a frequently burned longleaf pine savanna. Ann Arbor, MI, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College. Ph.D.: 146.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Carr, S. C., et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.
  7. Mugnani et al. (2019). “Longleaf Pine Patch Dynamics Influence Ground-Layer Vegetation in Old-Growth Pine Savanna”.
  8. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  9. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 2 MAY 2019
  10. Kirkman, L. K., K. L. Coffey, et al. (2004). "Ground cover recovery patterns and life-history traits: implications for restoration obstacles and opportunities in a species-rich savanna." Journal of Ecology 92(3): 409-421.
  11. Ruth, A. D., et al. 2008. Seed bank dynamics of sand pine scrub and longleaf pine flatwoods of the Gulf Coastal Plain (Florida). Ecological Restoration 26:19-21.
  12. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.