Panicum flexile (Gattinger) Scribn.

wiry 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

Wiry panicgrass is an annual grass with a broad distribution across the eastern and central parts of North America. It is usually restricted to wet meadows, shorelines and bluffs on calcareous soils. These habitats are prone to frequent natural disturbance. Within New England, a few current or historical sites are known from Connecticut and Vermont only.

Habitat

Fens, meadows and fields, ridges or ledges, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Vermont
Leaf blade width
1–7 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
2.5–3.7 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 ligule length
0.5–1.5 mm
Anther length
1.2–1.5 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    1.2–1.5 mm
    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 crowding
    the panicle is somewhat to very spread out, with clearly-evident branches
    Inflorescence length
    50–450 mm
    Inflorescence length to width ratio
    At least 2
    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
    Inflorescence width
    10–60 mm
    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
    2.5–3.7 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 only a single year or less
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    1–7 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.5–1.5 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 hairs
    there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • fens
    • meadows or fields
    • ridges or ledges
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

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

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Connecticut
unrankable (S-rank: SU)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Vermont
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Panicum capillare:
panicles with spreading-ascending to spreading branches, less than 2 times as tall as wide, 4–24 cm wide, with pubescent or glabrous axillary pulvini, anthers mostly 0.8–1.2 mm long (vs. P. flexile, panicles with ascending to spreading-ascending branches, more than 2 times as tall as wide, 1–6 cm wide, with glabrous axillary pulvini, and anthers 1.2–1.5 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Panicum capillare L. var. flexile Gattinger

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Panicum

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

4.  Panicum flexile (Gattinger) Scribn. NC

wiry panicgrass. Panicum capillare L.  var. flexile Gattinger • CT, VT. Ledges, shorelines, fen-like meadows, usually in soils influenced by high-pH bedrock.