Panicum capillare

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Common Names: witchgrass [1], old-witchgrass [2]

Panicum capillare
Panicum capillare IWF.jpg
Photo by John Hilty hosted at
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Panicum
Species: P. capillare
Binomial name
Panicum capillare
Natural range of Panicum capillare from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonym: P. capillare var. agreste Gattinger

Variety: none


P. capillare is an annual graminoid of the Poaceae family that is native to North America.[1]


P. capillare is found throughout the entirety of the Continental United States and the southern half of Canada. [1]



Considered a weed in cultivated soils, the common habitats for P. capillare include open sandy pr stony soils, fields, roadsides, and waste places. [3]

Specimens have been collected from habitats that include Full sun in loamy sand of limestone, on an old pocket gopher hole, and in nursery beds and other disturbed places. [4]


P. capillare has been observed flowering in October and November. [5]

Seed dispersal

Seed dispersal commonly occurs between September and December. [6]

Conservation and Management

P. capillare is considered weedy or invasive depending on the authority involved. [1]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 USDA Plant Database
  2. Davis, J., J. Eric, et al. (2002). "Vascular flora of Piedmont Prairies: Evidence from several prairie remnants." Castanea 67(1): 1-12.
  3. Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  4. URL: Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, William Platt, D.E. Boufford, E.W. WOod) States and counties: Florida (Jackson, Gadsden) Utah (Cache) Georgia (Thomas) Massachusetts (Middlesex)
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 24 MAY 2018
  6. West, G. C. (1967). "Nutrition of tree sparrows during winter in central Illinois." Ecology 48(1): 58-67.