Annual herb, tufted 10 cm - 1.5 m tall Leaves: alternate, two-ranked. Sheaths loose, usually shorter than internodes, marginally fringed with short hairs. Ligules to 0.5 mm long, membranous, fringed with hairs. Blades 5 - 20 cm long, 3 - 10 mm wide, lance-shaped with a long-pointed tip, thin and flat, parallel-veined, minutely rough along the margins. Inflorescence: a branched arrangement of spikelets (panicle), lax, open, 5 - 30 cm long, almost as wide, with a few very thin branches. Fruit: a caryopsis, indehiscent, enclosed within the persistent lemma and palea. Culm: upright, eventually sprawling, branched basally, often purple-dotted and purple-streaked, 10 cm - 1.5 m long, thin, round in cross-section, rooting from lower nodes. Spikelets: on 0.5 - 10 mm long stalks, 1.5 - 2 mm long, about 1 mm wide, ellipsoid or reverse egg-shaped with a blunt or nearly pointed apex, lightly veined. Glumes: unequal, herbaceous. Lower glumes about 0.5 mm long, under one-fifth as long as spikelets, pointed at the apex. Upper glumes nearly equal to lower lemmas, five-veined, warty. Lemmas:: Lower lemmas similar to and nearly equal to upper glumes, five-veined, warty. Upper lemmas shiny, with rolled-up margins on the upper surface. Paleas:: Lower paleas absent. Upper paleas longitudinally lined. Florets:: Lower florets sterile. Upper florets bisexual, grayish brown, 1.5 - 2 mm long, about 1 mm wide, pointed at the apex, longitudinally wrinkled, minutely bumpy. Anthers three. Stigmas red.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: August to late September
Habitat and ecology: Rare in the Chicago Region, and confined to northwestern Indiana. It is typically found in moist sandy soil.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Panicum comes from the Latin word panis, meaning bread, or panus, meaning "ear of millet." Verrucosum means warty.
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This species is very local and is found in wet or moist, sandy soil about sloughs near Lake Michigan and in marshes and roadside ditches in sec. 12 of Jasper County about 3 miles southeast of Tefft. We have specimens from only Jasper and Porter Counties although it has been reported from Lake County where it probably occurs or was once found. The mass distribution of this species is along the Coastal Plain.
Annual 2-9 dm; culms very slender, solitary or tufted, erect or spreading; blades thin, 5-15 cm נ5-10 mm, narrowed to the base, glabrous; panicle very lax and diffuse, 5-20 cm, its very slender branches widely spreading; spikelets narrowly obovoid, acute, 1.7-2.1 mm; first glume triangular, 0.5-0.8 mm; second glume and sterile lemma obscurely veined, distinctly verrucose; 2n=36. Wet woods and shores; e. Mass. to Fla. and Tex., mostly on the coastal plain, and also inland in Tenn., Ky., O., ne. Ind., and sw. Mich.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.