Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Dichanthelium ovale (Elliot) Gould & C.A. Clark
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: The characteristics of this species are the smooth, ellipsoid spikelets 1/8-1/6
inch long and the ligule about 1/6 inch long and which has a double row of hairs, one row a
dense band of short hairs, the other a thin line of long hairs.
- Habitat: Dry woods, sandy woods.
- Habit: Densely tufted perennial herb with thickened rootstocks; autumnal phase with a
rosette of basal leaves.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, up to 1 1/2 feet tall, with appressed hairs, the
nodes conspicuously hairy.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, smooth on the upper surface, appressed-hairy on the lower surface,
rough along the margins, ciliate at the base; sheaths appressed-hairy; ligule about 1/6 inch
long with two rows of hairs, one with short hairs and the other with long hairs.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets arranged in panicles up to 3 inches long, the branches of the
panicle usually with a few bristles; spikelets 1-flowered, ellipsoid, 1/8-1/6 inch long, smooth.
- Glumes: First glume lanceolate, pointed at the tip, smooth; second glume rounded at the
- Lemmas: Rounded at the tip, smooth, about 1/6 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Grains ellipsoid, smooth.
- Notes: Gleason and Cronquist call this family Poaceae. They refer to this species as
Panicum commonsianum, and include P. ovale as a southern range variant. There is a
distinct autumnal phase in which a distinct basal rosette of leaves is present.
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