Dichanthelium oligosanthes (J.A. Schultes) Gould

few-flowered rosette-panicgrass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Few-flowered rosette-panicgrass is a widespread species in North America, where it is dominant on tallgrass prairie, but present in other habitat types. It is found in most of New England, though in Maine it is restricted to the extreme southern part of the state. In New England it inhabits sandy sites and open woodlands.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), grassland, meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
4–15 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2.7–4.2 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
  • there is more than one floret per spikelet
  • there is one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
0 mm
Leaf sheath hair type
  • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, and some of the hairs have blisters at their bases
  • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, but the hairs do not have blisters at their bases
  • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
Leaf ligule length
1–1.5 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther number
    0–3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Bristles below spikelets
    no
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is hard and firm
    Floret number
    1–2
    Floret types within spikelet
    • NA
    • there are at least two distinct forms of florets within one spikelet
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume shape
    the glume is flat or curved in cross-section
    Glume veins
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    50–90 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    NA
    Lemma awn coiled
    NA
    Lemma awn length
    0 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has no awn
    Lemma awn orientation
    NA
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    the lemma tip is a simple point, with or without an awn (long narrow extension ending in a point)
    Lemma vein number
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    One or more florets
    • there is more than one floret per spikelet
    • there is one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    2.7–4.2 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Roots
    the plant has a root mass with a hardened top
  • Leaves
    Basal leaves
    the plant has large or prominent tufts of leaves at the base of the flowering stem
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    4–15 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    1–1.5 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of fine hairs
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hair type
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, and some of the hairs have blisters at their bases
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, but the hairs do not have blisters at their bases
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • grasslands
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Maine
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. scribnerianum

Vermont
rare (S-rank: S2)

var. scribnerianum

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Dichanthelium latifolium:
ligules a membrane that is ciliate near the apex and upper glumes usually without a basal spot or blotch, moderately veined (vs. D. oligosanthes, with ligules entirely of hairs and upper glumes often with a purple or orange-tan spot or blotch near the base and strongly veined).

Synonyms

  • Panicum macrocarpon Le Conte ex Torr.
  • Panicum oligosanthes J.A. Schultes var. scribnerianum (Nash) Fern.

Family

Poaceae

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our subspecies is Dichanthelium oligosanthes (J.A. Schultes) Gould ssp. scribnerianum.

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

10.  Dichanthelium oligosanthes (J.A. Schultes) Gould ssp. scribnerianum (Nash) Freckmann & Lelong N

few-flowered rosette-panicgrass. Panicum macrocarpon Le Conte ex Torr.; P. oligosanthes J.A. Schultes var. scribnerianum (Nash) Fern. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT; restricted in ME to extreme south. Sandy openings, grasslands, open woodlands, sandy roadsides. Dichanthelium oligosanthes ssp. oligosanthes was reported from southern New England by Angelo and Boufford (1998); however, the voucher specimens (at MASS! and NEBC!) were misidentified (most were D. oligosanthes ssp. scribnerianum).

1×10. Dichanthelium acuminatum × Dichanthelium oligosanthes Dichanthelium ×‌scoparioides (Ashe) Mohlenbrock is a rare rosette panicgrass hybrid in New England known from CT, MA, VT. It resembles D. ovale due to the long, projecting ligule of hairs mostly 2–3 mm long and the spikelets 2.2–2.4 mm long. However, the stems and sheaths are pubescent with short (mostly 1–1.5 mm long) and sparse, spreading-ascending hairs (or these parts ± glabrous; rather than having long, spreading or ascending to appressed hairs in D. ovale). The hybrid is further characterized by leaf blades mostly 6–10 mm wide. It was also reported from RI by Kartesz (1999); however, this record was erroneously based on Collins (1928), who did not report this hybrid from RI. The epithet scopariodes may not properly refer to this hybrid.