Perennial herb, tufted 15 cm - 1 m tall Inflorescence: a terminal, branched arrangement of spikelets (panicle). Primary panicles atop the culms, stalked (stalk over 8 cm long), often open, rather dense, 3 - 12 cm long, one-fourth to three-fourths as wide as long, well-exserted. Secondary panicles (when present) atop the branches. Fruit: a caryopsis, indehiscent, enclosed within the persistent lemma and palea. Culm: upright or ascending or decumbent, 15 cm - 1 m long, round in cross-section, hollow, densely velvety-hairy. Nodes sometimes swollen, densely hairy with a hairless ring below. Fall phase much-branched from the mid-culm nodes and forming fan-shaped clusters of branches. Spikelets: 1.5 - 2 mm long, broadly ellipsoid or reverse egg-shaped with a blunt to nearly pointed apex, variously hairy. Basal leaves: in a rosette. Blades shortly egg-shaped to lance-shaped, distinct from stem blades. Stem leaves: four to seven, alternate, two-ranked. Sheaths usually shorter than internodes (about half as long at mid-culm), densely soft-hairy (hairs under 3 mm long). Ligules 1 - 5 mm long, composed of hairs. Blades lax or firm, spreading to ascending, distinctly longer and narrower than basal leaves, 6 - 12 cm long, to 10 mm wide, lance-shaped with a rounded or almost heart-shaped base, parallel-veined, softly hairy, with a marginal fringe of bumpy-based hairs (at least basally). Glumes:: Lower glumes usually one-fourth to one-half as long as spikelets, blunt to pointed at the apex. Upper glumes rounded to pointed at the apex. Lemmas:: Lower lemmas similar to upper glumes. Upper lemmas longitudinally lined, shiny, with rolled-up margins above. Paleas:: Lower paleas shorter than lower lemmas, thin. Upper paleas longitudinally lined. Florets:: Lower florets sterile. Upper florets bisexual, stalkless, 1 - 1.5 mm long, 0.5 - 1 mm wide, ellipsoid with a blunt to pointed apex, plump. Anthers three. Stigmas red.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: late June to July
Habitat and ecology: Occasional in a variety of moist to dry, peaty or sandy habitats, mostly in the eastern sector of the Chicago Region.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Dichanthelium comes from the Greek words di, meaning twice, and anth, meaning flowering, referring to plants that may have two flowering periods. Acuminatum means "tapering to a long point."
Author: The Morton Arboretum