Plants erect to spreading. Leaves mostly cauline; blades
2-32 cm long, 3-18 mm wide, lax to somewhat stiff, glabrous or with a few hairs
along the midrib (rarely shortly pilose), dark green to purple, margins scabrous,
ciliate. Panicle branches 2-11.9 cm; branch axes 0.6-1.2 mm wide.
Spikelets 1.7-2 mm long, 1.2-1.5 mm wide, elliptic to obovate, pubescent
or occasionally glabrous; lower lemmas with an evident midvein; upper
florets 1.7-2 mm.
Paspalum setaceum var. ciliatifolium is the most variable and widespread
of the nine varieties of P. setaceum. It usually grows in sandy soil in
open areas, including disturbed areas, of prairies and forest margins. Its range
extends from Louisiana and the eastern United States to Panama, the West Indies,
Perennial herb with short rhizomes or forming tufts 25 cm - 1 m tall Leaves: mostly consisting of stem leaves, alternate, two-ranked. Sheaths open, sometimes hairy. Ligules to 0.5 mm long, membranous. Blades stiff or somewhat lax, dark green to purplish, 2 - 32 cm long, 3 - 18 mm wide, lance-shaped, flat, parallel-veined, sometimes with a few hairs along the midrib, fringed with hairs. Inflorescence: a branched arrangement of spikelets (panicle), terminal and axillary, bearing one to six spike-like branches. Axillary panicles completely or partially enclosed by a subtending leaf sheath. Branches ascending to spreading, 2 - 12 cm long, with spikelets mostly arranged in two rows along one side of the branch. Branch axes 0.6 - 1.2 mm wide, sometimes rough. Fruit: a caryopsis, indehiscent, enclosed within the persistent lemma and palea, white, elliptic to nearly orbicular. Culm: upright or spreading, 25 cm - 1 m long, round in cross-section, hollow. Nodes sometimes hairy. Spikelets: paired, overlapping, arranged along one side of the inflorescence branch, appressed to the branch axis, bearing two florets, straw-colored or brown, 1.5 - 2 mm long, 1 - 1.5 mm long, plano-convex (one side flat, the other convex), reverse egg-shaped to elliptic, usually hairy. Glumes:: Lower glumes absent. Upper glumes nearly equal to lower lemmas, rounded at the apex, three-veined, sometimes shortly glandular-hairy, membranous. Lemmas:: Lower lemmas nearly equal to upper glumes, rounded at the apex, sometimes shortly glandular-hairy, membranous, three-veined, with an evident midvein. Upper lemmas clasping the paleas, straw-colored to brown, convex, smooth to slightly wrinkled, with rolled-up margins on the upper surface. Paleas:: Lower paleas rudimentary or absent. Upper paleas straw-colored to brown, smooth to slightly wrinkled. Florets:: Lower florets sterile. Upper florets bisexual, straw-colored, 1.5 - 2 mm long. Anthers three. Stigmas red.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to September
Habitat and ecology: Sandy soil in open areas.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Paspalum comes from the Greek word paspalos, a type of millet. Setaceum means bristle-like. Ciliatifolium means "having hairy-fringed leaves."