Witch grass Panicum capillare, photographed by Michael Plagens.

Belongs within: Panicoideae.

Panicum, the panic grasses, is a large and diverse genus of grasses, and quite possibly polyphyletic (Grass Phylogeny Working Group 2001). Panicum miliaceum, small millet or broom corn, and some other species are grown as grain crops. Other species of Panicum are used as fodder grasses.

Characters (from Quattrocchi 2007): Annual or perennial, varied habit, woody and persistent or herbaceous, rhizomatous or stoloniferous, erect to decumbent, forming creeping mats or tussocks or aquatic clumps, hairy or glabrous nodes, solid or hollow internodes, sometimes lowest internodes thickened into a cormlike base, auricles present or absent, ligules membranous and ciliate, blade rolled in bud, leaves linear-lanceolate to linear-ovate to thread-like, plants bisexual, inflorescence paniculate to racemose with solitary or rarely paired spikelets falling entire at maturity, branched flower heads, awnless dorsally compressed spikelets, 2 florets, lower floret sterile or male, upper floret hermaphrodite, glumes unequal, lower glume minute and truncate to awned, upper glume as long as spikelet and rounded on the back, upper lemma stiff or hardened, palea present, 2 free and fleshy lodicules, 3 stamens, ovary glabrous and without the apical appendage, 2 stigmas reddish to red.

    |--P. bisulcatum GPWG01
    |--P. capillare GPWG01
    |--P. coloratum GR98
    |--P. digitaria [incl. Digitaria paspalodes] C55
    |--P. glutinosum SWK87
    |--P. maximum GPWG01
    |--P. miliaceum C55
    |--P. paludosum C78
    |--P. pearsonii CV06
    |--P. psilopodium P03
    |--P. racemosum CLB06
    |--P. repens AGF98
    |--P. sanguinale C55
    |--P. texanum ACW01
    |--P. turgidum AGF98
    |--P. virgatum GPWG01
    `--P. xalapense J87

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AGF98] Abd El-Ghani, M. M., & A. G. Fahmy. 1998. Composition of and changes in the spontaneous flora of Feiran Oasis, S Sinai, Egypt, in the last 60 years. Willdenowia 28: 123-134.

[ACW01] Aguilar, H., C. C. Childers & W. C. Welbourn. 2001. Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence of mites in the family Tydeidae on citrus in Florida. In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 376-380. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C78] Clunie, N. M. U. 1978. The vegetation. In Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea vol. 1 (J. S. Womersley, ed.) pp. 1-11. Melbourne University Press: Carlton South (Australia).

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175-189.

[CLB06] Cutrera, A. P., E. A. Lacey & C. Busch. 2006. Intraspecific variation in effective population size in talar tuco-tucos (Ctenomys talarum): the role of demography. Journal of Mammalogy 87 (1): 108-116.

[GPWG01] Grass Phylogeny Working Group. 2001. Phylogeny and subfamilial classification of the grasses (Poaceae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 88 (3): 373-457.

[GR98] Greuter, W., & T. Raus (eds.) 1998. Med-Checklist Notulae, 17. Willdenowia 28: 163-174.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum – Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45 (1-4): 121-142.

Quattrocchi, U. 2007. CRC World Dictionary of Grasses: common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. CRC Press.

[SWK87] Snyder, N. F. R., J. W. Wiley & C. B. Kepler. 1987. The Parrots of Luquillo: Natural history and conservation of the Puerto Rican parrot. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology: Los Angeles.

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