E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Dichanthelium acuminatum (Sw.) Gould & C.A. Clark
western witchgrass (tapered rosette grass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #3919)

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Distribution of Dichanthelium acuminatum
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Dichanthelium acuminatum var. fasciculatum

Species Information

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Perennial grass from fibrous roots, greyish-green; stems simple in spring, slightly to repeatedly branched and often prostrate-spreading in late summer, pimpled and soft-hairy, up to 50 cm tall.
Sheaths open; basal leaves different from the stem leaves, forming a winter rosette; blades densely long-hairy or short soft-hairy to smooth above or with only minute, blistery hairs on the margins, the upper blades of the spring stems larger than the basal, 5-12 mm wide, those of the branches reduced; nodes usually with a ring of spreading hairs subtended by a smooth band; ligules 2.5-5 mm long.
Inflorescence an open panicle, 3-9 (11) cm long and about as wide, the branches rough short-hairy, erect; spikelets 2-flowered, elliptical to egg-shaped, more or less short soft-hairy, about 1.5-2 mm long, the lower florets sterile, those on the branches slightly smaller and tending to be closed, self-fertilizing; lower glumes 1-nerved, sharp-pointed, rounded or sometimes irregular, about 0.5 mm long, the upper glumes short soft-hairy throughout, 7- to 9-nerved, rounded or blunt at the tips, about as long as the fruits at maturity; sterile lemmas short soft-hairy throughout, 7- to 9-nerved, rounded at the tips, about as long as upper glumes; fertile lemmas much hardened and faintly nerved; lodicules about 0.3 mm long, fan-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry shores, beaches, open woods, meadows and bogs in the lowland and montane zones; fre quent in S BC to 53 degrees N and occasionally much farther north in association with hot springs; E disjunctly to PQ and NS and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, FL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References