Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Zizaniopsis miliacea (Michx.) Doell & Aschers.
- Family: Grass (Poaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: This large grass is distinguished by its broad leaves and large panicles with the
female spikelets at the tip and the staminate spikelets at the base.
- Habitat: Fresh or brackish marshes, sloughs, stream banks, quiet waters, ditches, around lakes,
swampy forests, often in shallow water.
- Habit: Coarse perennial grass with extensive rhizomes.
- Stems: Stout, upright, up to 9 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow, flat, up to 3 feet long, up to nearly 2 inches wide, smooth, although
rough along the edges.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, the male spikelets separate from the female spikelets; spikelets
borne in panicles, with the female spikelets at the tips of the panicle branches and the male flowers
at the base.
- Spikelets: Male spikelets smooth, the lemmas up to 1/3 inch long; female spikelets smooth,
the lemmas awned, the body and the awn each up to 1/3 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 6.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Spherical to obovoid, yellowish, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Notes: This species is also known as giant cutgrass.
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