Saturday, July 3, 2010

Plant Quiz=Panicum flexile

A plant quiz is far from overdue.

The ability to identify grasses without fertile material is not for the faint of heart and is one of the most challenging (and ignored) aspects of floristic botany. Most species can readily be identified by their leaves, sheaths, ligules, stems, pubescence, habit and habitat. Familiarity is the key.

Since this is especially challenging, I'll add a new clue each day until someone gets it right. Good luck!


Scott Namestnik said...

How about Paspalum setaceum?

Justin Thomas said...

Nope. This grass is an annual (clue number 1)

Brett said...

Witchgrass Panicum capillare

Justin Thomas said...


The leaves and stem are too narrow in relation to length for Panicum capillare, especially at the seedling stage. That is a mighty fine guess, though.

Clue number two: Spikelets, once developed, have a single fertile floret and are >2.5mm long.

Susan said...

Then you've all made it easy for me. Must be Panicum flexile.

Justin Thomas said...

Panicum flexile it is! Nice work, Susan!

This little dude is a common member of glade communities in the Ozarks where it virtually goes undetected until early autumn when it blooms all over the place. In Missouri, it is almost always found growing with Sporobolus ozarkanus.