Dichanthelium tenue

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Common name: White-edged witchgrass

Dichanthelium tenue
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Dichanthelium
Species: D. tenue
Binomial name
Dichanthelium tenue
Natural range of Dichanthelium tenue from Weakley <refname= "Weakley"/>

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Panicum tenue Muhlenberg, Panicum albomarginatum Nash, Panicum trifolium Nash, Panicum ensifolium Baldwin, Panicum concinnius A.S. Hitchcock & Chase, and Dichanthelium dichotomum (Linnaeus) Gould var. tenue (Muhlenberg) Gould & Clark.[1]

Varieties: none.[1]


D. tenue, also known as white-edged witchgrass [2], is a native perennial with a graminoid growth habit that is a member of the Poaceae family. [3]


The native distribution of D. tenue ranges in the gulf coastal plain from Louisiana up to Kentucky and Maryland. [3] The species is also present in Mesoamerica and Cuba. [2]



D. tenue can be found in wet peaty or sandy soil in pineland savannas, flatwoods, bogs, and meadows. [2] More specifically, habitats range from hardwood forests, pine flatwoods and savannahs, shaded loams, along railroads and several other disturbed sites, sandy depressions and hills, scrub thickets, grass sedge bogs, and other flatwoods. [4] It is also a characteristic species of the panhandle silty longleaf woodlands and the upper panhandle savannas in Florida.[5] On the Wade Tract Preserve that is a part of the Arcadia Plantation in the Red Hills Region, D. tenue was found to be a lowland species, compared to upland or mid-slope species.[6] As well, a study found that this species was in greater frequency in natural longleaf pine stands rather than planted stands.[7]

Associated species: Dichanthelium aciculare, D. acuminatum, D. dichotomum, D. ovale, D. laxiflorum, Polygonum pensylvanicum, Sarracenia leucophylla, Calopogon barbatus, and Drosera sp.[4]


Flowering time of D. tenue ranges from May until October. [2] Fruit has been seen to be present in the months February through June, and September through November. [4]

Seed bank and germination

A study found this species to be present in the seed bank of disturbed sites as well as non-disturbed sites, but much more indicative of disturbed sites.[8]

Fire ecology

It is commonly found in fire dependent pinelands and savannas.[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

This species is imperiled in Kentucky, vulnerable in Virginia, possibly extirpated in Delaware, and critically imperiled in New Jersey.[9]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  3. 3.0 3.1 USDA Plants Database URL: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=DIDIT
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Cecil Slaughter, R. Kral, R. K. Godfrey, H. Kurz, S. W. Leonard, A. E. Radford, Sidney McDaniel, C. R. Bell, H. L. Blomquist, R. F. Thorne, and R. A. Davidson. States and counties: Florida: Wakulla, Liberty, Franklin, Levy, Alachua, Escambia, Lee, Calhoun, Madison, Pasco, Jefferson, Dixie, Martin, Bay, and Leon. Louisiana: St Tammany, and Ouachita. Georgia: Grady, Thomas, Clinch, and Baker. Alabama: Mobile. North Carolina: Wake, Pender, and Durham. Mississippi: Winston. South Carolina: Florence.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Carr, S. C., et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.
  6. Gilliam, F. S., et al. (2006). "Natural disturbances and the physiognomy of pine savannas: A phenomenological model." Applied Vegetation Science 9: 83-96.
  7. Kirkman, L. K., 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.
  8. Cohen, S., et al. (2004). "Seed bank viability in disturbed longleaf pine sites." Restoration Ecology 12: 503-515.
  9. [[1]] NatureServe Explorer. Accessed: May 2, 2019