Plants cespitose, with few culms per tuft. Basal rosettes well-differentiated;
blades 3-8 cm long, often to 2 cm wide, ovate-lanceolate. Culms
30-95 cm, nearly erect, fairly stout; nodes glabrous or puberulent; internodes
usually glabrous; fall phase with few, long-ascending branches, sparingly
rebranched, branches arising mostly near the base of the culms. Cauline leaves
4-7; sheaths shorter than the internodes, mostly glabrous, margins ciliate;
ligules vestigial; blades 10-25 cm long, 14-25 mm wide, thick,
firm, often light green, veins evident (some more prominent than others), bases
cordate, with papillose-based cilia, margins whitish, cartilaginous. Primary
panicles 7-20 cm, less than 1/2 as wide as long, exserted. Spikelets
1.3-1.7 mm, broadly ellipsoid-spherical, often purplish at the base, puberulent.
Lower glumes 0.4-0.7 mm, acute to obtuse, upper florets 1.1-1.4
mm, broadly ellipsoid, blunt. 2n = 18.
Dichanthelium polyanthes grows in woods, stream banks, and ditches, and
is restricted to the eastern United States. It occasionally hybridizes with
Perennial herb, tufted 30 cm - 1 m tall Inflorescence: a terminal, branched arrangement of spikelets (panicle). Primary panicles atop the culms, 7 - 20 cm long, less than half as wide as long, exserted. Secondary panicles (when present) atop the branches. Fruit: a caryopsis, indehiscent, enclosed within the persistent lemma and palea. Culm: nearly upright, stout, 30 cm - 1 m long, round in cross-section, hollow. Nodes sometimes minutely hairy. Fall phase sparsely branching, with a few long-ascending branches arising from near the base of the culms. Spikelets: often purplish basally, 1 - 1.5 mm long, broadly spherical-ellipsoid, minutely hairy. Basal leaves: in a rosette. Blades 3 - 8 cm long, to 2 cm wide, egg- lance-shaped, distinct from stem blades. Stem leaves: four to seven, alternate, two-ranked. Sheaths shorter than internodes, fringed with hairs. Ligules rudimentary. Blades firm, thick, whitish along the margins, distinctly longer and narrower than basal leaves, 10 - 25 cm long, 1.5 - 2.5 cm wide, lance-shaped with a heart-shaped base, veined, fringed with bumpy-based hairs basally. Glumes:: Lower glumes about 0.5 mm long, blunt to pointed at the apex. Upper glumes rounded to pointed at the apex. Lemmas:: Lower lemmas similar to upper glumes. Upper lemmas longitudinally lined, shiny, with rolled-up margins above. Paleas:: Lower paleas shorter than lower lemmas, thin. Upper paleas longitudinally lined. Florets:: Upper florets bisexual, stalkless, 1 - 1.5 mm long, broadly ellipsoid with a blunt apex, plump. Anthers three. Stigmas red.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to October
Habitat and ecology: In the Chicago Region, this species is known only from Berrien County, Michigan. There it was found at a truck-weighing station in moist sand.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Dichanthelium comes from the Greek words di, meaning twice, and anth, meaning flowering, referring to plants that may have two flowering periods. Polyanthes means many-flowered.
Culms few in a tuft, stout and erect, 4-10 dm, glabrous; sheaths usually all longer than the internodes, glabrous on the back, ciliate with hairs usually under 1 mm; ligule none; blades cordate and papillose-ciliate at base, the largest 12-20 cm נ15-30 mm, the secondary veins in sets of usually 6-9 between the well differentiated primary veins; flag-lf usually 10-15+ cm; panicle 8-18 cm, seldom over half as wide, with ascending branches; spikelets (excluding the first glume) almost spherical, minutely puberulent, 1.3-1.9 mm; first glume a third to two-fifths as long, broadly rounded; autumnal phase scarcely different, usually producing a few flowering branches from the lower nodes; 2n=18. Dry or damp soil, usually in open woods; N.Y. to Ind., Mo., and Okla., s. to Ga. and Tex. (Dichanthelium p.; Dichanthelium sphaerocarpon var. isophyllum)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.