Villous Panic Grass
FAMILY: Gramineae (Poaceae)
SYNONYM: Dichanthelium acuminatum (Swartz) Gould
& Clark var. villosum (A. Gray) Gould & Clark
HABIT: Herbaceous perennial with winter rosettes, vernal
culms caespitose, erect to ascending, 2-3 dm.; flowering May-July; autumnal
culms ascending to prostrate, elongating up to 6 dm., with reduced leaves on
short branches; flowering June-October.
SIMILAR SPECIES: The genus Panicum is distinctive in
Ohio. Species distinctions are based upon minute and technical characters. This
is an extremely variable species in the degree of pubescence and size of
spikelets. These characters sometimes overlap into those of the closely related
and very similar P. lanuginosum, which is common throughout Ohio.
TOTAL RANGE: MA to MN, s. to FL and TX.
STATE RANGE: There is a single post-1960 record from
Adams County. There are pre-1960 records from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie,
Jackson, Licking, and Lucas counties.
STATE STATUS: 1980-1991: Endangered, 1992-1993: Threatened,
1994-1995: Presumed Extirpated, 1996-1997: Endangered, 1998 to present:
HABITAT: Dry soil in a variety of habitats; open woods,
HAZARDS: Unknown, but possibly grazing; also, possibly
overshading by woody species due to succession.
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Unknown, but presumed good due to its
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Mature flowering material with
underground parts and winter rosettes is needed for identification. Note the
density of basal tufts.
COMMENTS: This plant is probably more common than the
records indicate, and should be sought throughout Ohio. It may easily be
overlooked or misidentified.
a major revision of this group, Gould and Clark (1978) elevate the Panicum subgenus
Dichanthelium to generic level. In their treatment, P. villosissimum is
submerged within D. acuminatum var. villosum (see Synonym).
However, the taxon is here retained as P. villosissimum pending further
clarification of this extremely complex and confusing taxonomic problem.
Gould, F.W. and C.A. Clark. 1978. Dichanthelium
(Poaceae) in the United States and Canada. Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 65: 1088-1132.
Hitchcock, A.S. 1951. Manual of the grasses of the United
States. Ed. 2, rev. by A. Chase, U.S. Dept. Agr. Misc. Publ. 200. 1051 p.
Hitchcock, A.S. and A. Chase. 1910. The North American
species of Panicum. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 15: 396 p.
Stephenson, S.N. 1984. The genus Dichanthelium in
Michigan. Mich. Bot. 23: 107-119.
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and
Created: 7/1984 David Spooner, James F. Burns
Database Code: SPGH.H95