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Panicum

See list of 9 species in this genus

Recent phylogenetic research showed convincingly that a broadly defined Panicum is artificial (Aliscioni et al. 2003, Zuloaga et al. 2006). Not only are Dichanthelium and Sorengia well-supported segregates, but also P. verrucosum will need to be segregated into a separate genus. References: Darbyshire and Cayouette (1995), Freckmann and Lelong (2003b).

  • 1a. Upper glumes and lower lemmas distinctly verrucose with hemispherical protruberences, faintly veined [Fig. 248]
  • 1b. Upper glumes and lower lemmas not verrucose, with distinct veins
    • 2a. Plants perennial, from rhizomes
    • 2b. Plants annual, from fibrous roots
      • 4a. Lower glume truncate to subacute at the apex, 20–33% as long as the upper glume; sheaths ± compressed, glabrous; plants often somewhat spongy near base
      • 4b. Lower glume acute to acuminate at the apex, 33–75% as long as the upper glume; sheaths ± terete, pubescent; plants not spongy near base
        • 5a. Spikelets 4–6 mm long; upper (i.e., fertile) florets 2–2.5 mm wide; panicles dense, often arching or nodding at maturity
        • 5b. Spikelets 1.4–4 mm long; upper florets 0.4–0.9 mm wide; panicles open, upright
          • 6a. Panicles with ascending to spreading-ascending branches, more than 2 times as tall as wide, 1–6 cm wide, with glabrous axillary pulvini; anthers 1.2–1.5 mm long
          • 6b. Panicles with spreading-ascending to spreading branches, less than 2 times as tall as wide, 4–24 cm wide (narrower in depauperate individuals), with pubescent or glabrous axillary pulvini; anthers 0.7–1.2 mm long
            • 7a. Panicle usually more than 50% of the total plant height [Fig. 247], often breaking at the base of the peduncle and wind-dispersed; spikelets (1.9–) 2.3–4 mm long; upper floret usually light brown-yellow to light brown (rarely dark brown), 0.45–0.60 times as long as the entire spikelet
            • 7b. Panicle usually less than 50% of the total plant height, not breaking at the base of the peduncle; spikelets 1.4–2.4 mm long; upper floret dark brown at maturity (light brown in P. philadelphicum var. campestre), 0.54–0.79 times as long as the entire spikelet
              • 8a. Anthers (0.75–)0.8–1 mm long; uppermost leaf (i.e., the one immediately below the inflorescence) with a blade length to sheath length ratio of 0.8–1.8(–2.6), usually not enclosing the lower branches of the inflorescence in the sheath (i.e., the inflorescence is exserted); spikelets 1.8–2.4 mm long at maturity; upper florets 1.20–1.55 × 0.60–0.85 mm at maturity; lowest node of the inflorescence usually without pilose hairs
              • 8b. Anthers 0.5–0.75 mm long; uppermost leaf with a blade length to sheath length ratio of 2–3, usually enclosing the lower branches of the inflorescence in the sheath (i.e., the inflorescence partly included); spikelets 1.4–1.8(–2) mm long at maturity; upper florets 0.75–1.3(–1.6) × 0.42–0.65(–0.7) mm at maturity; lowest node of the inflorescence pubescent with pilose hairs

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