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

Dichanthelium oligosanthes (Schult.) Gould
Scribner's witchgrass (Heller's rosette grass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10227)

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Distribution of Dichanthelium oligosanthes
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Dichanthelium oligosanthes var. scribnerianum

Species Information

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Perennial grass from fibrous roots; stems simple in spring with terminal panicles, becoming branched in late summer with axillary panicles, more or less pimply and soft-hairy, 15-50 cm tall.
Sheaths open; basal leaves different from the stem leaves, forming a winter rosette; blades hairy below, smooth above, hairs of margins with minutely blistery base, the upper blades larger than the basal, 5-15 mm wide; ligules 1-1.5 mm long.
Inflorescence an open panicle, 3-8 cm long, the late summer axillary panicles often with closed, self-fertilizing florets; spikelets 2-flowered, more or less short soft-hairy, 2.7-3.2 mm long, the first florets sterile; lower glumes 1-nerved, about 1.5 mm long, the rest of the spikelet abruptly narrowed to a hardened, cuplike base 0.6-0.8 mm long, the upper glumes short soft-hairy throughout or sometimes smooth, 9- to 11-nerved, rounded at the tips, barely exceeding the fertile florets; sterile lemmas short soft-hairy throughout or sometimes smooth, 9- to 11-nerved, rounded at the tips, barely exceeding the fertile florets; fertile lemmas much-hardened and faintly-nerved; lodicules 0.6-0.7 mm long, tubular-fan-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry open sandy flats, gravelly knolls and rocky bluffs in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in SW and SC BC north to 51 degrees N; E to ON and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, FL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Dichanthelium oligosanthes

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 445 509 700
Slope Gradient (%) 11 40 77
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 206 272
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(5), PP(2)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Panicum oligosanthes

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References