Dichanthelium malacophyllum (Nash) Gould
Family: Poaceae
Dichanthelium malacophyllum image

Plants cespitose, with caudices. Basal rosettes well-differentiated; blades 2-4 cm, ovate to lanceolate. Culms 20-70 cm, usually 1-2 mm thick, erect; nodes retrorsely bearded; internodes puberulent and densely pubescent with soft, spreading to retrorse hairs, hairs papillose-based, papillae small; fall phase branching from the mid- and upper culm nodes, ultimately much rebranched, with short, bushy clumps of blades and small, included secondary panicles, this branching beginning before the primary panicles are exserted. Cauline leaves 5-6; sheaths not overlapping, pubescence not as dense as on the culms; collars puberulent; ligules 0.5-1 mm, of hairs, bases of the hairs forming a thickened ring, pseudoligules of 1-3 mm hairs also present; blades 5-10 cm long, 6-12 mm wide, lax, both surfaces velvety pubescent, with 9 or 11 major veins, these only slightly more prominent than the minor veins, bases rounded, margins ciliate. Primary panicles 3-7 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, tardily and shortly exserted; rachises and branches densely pubescent. Spikelets 2.5-3.2 mm long, 1.5-1.6 mm wide, broadly ellipsoid-obovoid, turgid, with papillose-based hairs, sometimes pilose. Lower glumes 1-1.6 mm, strongly veined, acute; upper glumes strongly veined, often purplish, especially towards the bases; lower florets sterile; upper florets minutely umbonate. 2n = 18.

Dichanthelium malacophyllum usually grows in cedar glades, on dry limestone soils. It is restricted to the United States. The primarypanicles are briefly open-pollinated from late May to early June; the secondary panicles, which are produced from June to November, are cleistogamous. The species occasionally intergrades, and perhaps hybridizes, with D. oligosanthes and D. acuminatum.