March - October
0.1 - 1.3
A perennial grass with densely hairy culms except in a ring just below the nodes. The nodes, leaf blades, and leaf sheaths are densely hairy. Usually hairy stems and leaves with a bald ring at node similar to D. acuminatum which does not have a ligule while D. scoparium has a ligule of white hairs.
This information is for the genera Panicum and Dicanthelium with note that, because of abundance and distribution, it is one of the country's most important food sources for ground-feeding songbirds and gamebirds. It is also valuable as livestock forage: Animals that eat its seeds: Purple gallinule, Sora rail, Pectoral sandpiper, Ground dove, Mourning dove, Eastern white-winged dove, Bobwhite quail, Wild turkey, Woodcock, Redwing blackbird, Painted bunting, Cardinal, Cowbird, Brown creeper, Dickcissel, Blue grosbeak, Junco, Meadowlark, American and sprague pipit, Pyrrhuloxia, Chipping, vesper and white-throated sparrows, Pine-woods and tree sparrow, English, Harris, Henslow, Ipswich and sharp-tailed sparrows, Field, grasshopper, song, swamp and white-crowned sparrows, Savannah sparrow, Towhee, Pine warbler. Animals that eat the young plants and its seed: Baldpate and blue-winged teal, Florida and green-winged teal, Gadwall duck, Blue and canada goose, Snow goose, White-fronted goose. Animals that eat the plants: Antelope, White-tailed deer (Martin et al. 1951).
The seeds of many Panicums were used as food in the Southwest. Their importance as a food source is limited because they drop their seeds quickly after ripening (Doebley 1983). Velvet panicgrass is found frequent in disturbed areas of prairies and other areas, the edges of forests, and throughout Louisiana and the eastern United States.
Moist areas, usually in woodlands, relatively uncommon.