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Desert Botanical Garden Herbarium
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Panicum hirticaule - Mexican panicgrass

Synonyms: Panicum pampinosum, Panicum alatum

Other Common Names: witchgrass, roughstalk witchgrass, woodland panic

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Dry slopes, plains and sandy washes and in open woodlands and ponderosa pine forests.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 3500 - 7500 feet

General Description

Desc: Stem nodes swollen or brittle, stems erect to reclining on the ground with tips ascending, 8 to 43 inches tall. Branched seedheads 3-1/2 to 12 inches long, 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, erect or nodding.
Identification notes: Spikelets less than 1/4 inch long and like other Panicums sp. round and awnless. Branched seedhead less than half the length of the seedhead stem, the branches not wide-spreading.
Grass Type: Annual  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: Y
Flowering Period: Jun - Sep

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Spikelets are 1/16 to 1/4 inch long, ovoid, reddish-brown with prominent veins, 2-flowered, the first floret reduced to a sterile lemma and the second floret fertile.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Blades are flat with clasping bases, 1 to 12 inches long, 1/8 to 1-1/4 inches wide.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous and hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths are shorter than the internodes, greenish to purplish.

Forage Value: Not available.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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