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Needleleaf witchgrass
Dichanthelium aciculare
Poaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A common understory grass in a wide variety of pinelands and prairies.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small herbaceous grass.
Dimensions:
About 6-12 inches in height. Taller than broad.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and northern South America. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key.
Habitats:
Pinelands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Brownish inflorescence.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous.
Flowering Season:
Spring-fall.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous caryopsis.
Wildlife and Ecology:
In central Florida, it is the larval host plant for tawny-edged skipper (Potites themistocles).


 


Keith A. Bradley
Shirley Denton