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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Fall panicum  (Panicum dichotomiflorum)

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Life stages of Fall panicum mature plant flower head seeds collar and sheath hairs on seedling

Fall panicum is an annual grass. In California it is found in the San Joaquin Valley and southwestern region to about 1600 feet (500 m). It grows in fields, unmanaged, disturbed places, and prefers areas with moist soils such as along streams, tailwater ponds, and irrigation ditches. Witchgrass, Panicum capillare, a related species, is similar in appearance to fall panicum, but is much more widespread.

Mature plant

Plants grow upright or spread from a bent or twisted base up to about 3-1/3 feet (1 m). Leaves often have a prominent wide midrib. Unlike witchgrass, fall panicum has hairless or nearly hairless leaf blades.

Collar region

The ligule consists of a dense ring of white hairs. There is no auricle.


Spikelets grow in open branches that together form a pyramid or triangle shape. Unlike witchgrass, fall panicum spikelet stalks are tiny and lay close to the flowering branches.


Reproduces by seed.

Related or similar plants

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