Identifying Grass Seedlings

Fall panicum (Panicum dichotomiflorum)

Summer annual grasses


Stems may be erect or bent at the lower nodes and ascending or decumbent. Sheaths and stems may be round and smooth. Blades are flat, smooth and 4–15 mm wide with a prominent white midvein. Auricles are absent, and the ligule is a fringe of hair. Often, the lower leaf surface of the first seedling leaf is covered with hair; however, this characteristic disappears with age.

Mature fall panicumMature fall panicum.

Collar region Seedling leavesCollar region: ligule is a fringe of hair.
Right, hair on lower surfaces of seedling leaves.


Fall panicum is common in cultivated agronomic crops. It may also be found in landscape and noncrop areas.


Fall panicum is found throughout Missouri and the United States.

Similar species

Barnyardgrass also has a similar growth habit but it lacks a ligule. Johnsongrass has a similar growth habit but is a rhizomatous perennial, and its mature ligule is topped with a fringe of hair.