Witch Grass


Witch Grass (Panicum capillare)


From the Poaceae family and the Genus Panicum. Other names include Panic Grass, Dog Grass, and Tickle Grass. It is also called Quack Grass and Couch Grass, but shouldn't be confused with Agropyron repens.


Panicum capillare is considered an ornamental grass but before purchasing know this can become and invasive weed. Native to North America, it is now spreading to areas around the world including Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.


When it sprouts as a monocot it spreads out at the base producing hairy stems. Grass begins to grow upright 10 - 30 inches tall and densely grows out about 2 feet in a decumbent fashion, or lying on the ground and tips turn up. Leaves are also hairy and grow about 4 to 10 inches long. There is a white mid-vein throughout it's length.


Witch grass is primarily green but it can carry blue to purple hints of color. It has tasseled flowerheads with seeds make up about half the plants height. These are loose, open panicle clusters that resemble a broom. Within are small cream colored flowers that are egg shaped.

Photo: F.D. Richards


Found growing in cultivated fields, the grass also grows in meadows, wastelands and gardens. It grows in part and full sun and prefers sandy soils that don't require a lot of water. The pH range of soil it prefers to grow in is 5.5 to 7.5 helping the weed to adapt well to clay and most other types of soil.




This annual weed grass spreads by seed and one plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds. Seeds mature in fall and germinates in the spring and summer. Flowers bloom from June through November, depending on region.


Removing and controlling can be done in various ways. Having a fibrous, shallow root system, weed can be pulled easily. If broken off at stem, can root at nodes.


Other methods of removal include:

  • Pre-emergents - effective with killing seeds.
  • Burning weeds can be effectively done with a propane torch.
  • When cutting grass, weed adapts to whatever mowing height blades are set at.




FYI:

  • Fall panicum (Panicum dichotomiflorum) - Also an annual weed that grows 20 - 50 inches. It can be smooth or have hair with a slightly different flower head than it's cousin Panicum capillare. Stems can have purple tinge. Leaf blade has prominent white vein down the middle. Grows in low areas.


  • Panicum genus are known for the edible seeds, including this weed, Panicum capillare, used as feed for sheep, horses and many species of birds. Panicum miliaceum, also known as Broomcorn Millet and Proso Millet, is mainly grown for birdseed but is also sold as a healthy food source due to its lack of gluten.




Related Articles:






Back from Witch Grass to Weed Identification

Back from Witch Grass to Easy Butterfly Garden.com


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Copyright © 2010-2014 Easy-Butterfly-Garden.com
Privacy Policy Disclaimer






Printer icon Print




Join Easy Butterfly Garden on Facebook






Recent Articles

  1. Butterfly Mating

    Oct 23, 14 10:58 AM

    A very comprehensive page of different species and their butterfly mating rituals.

    Read More

  2. The Butterfly Larva Stage

    Oct 21, 14 11:39 PM

    The butterfly larva stage is also known as the caterpillar. This is where the caterpillar eats a lot and molts its way to the prepupa stage.

    Read More

  3. Butterfly Information

    Oct 21, 14 11:22 PM

    For centuries the butterfly information learned was based on observation. Today science, combined with new observations, have helped us to understand a great deal more.

    Read More

  4. The Butterfly House

    Oct 21, 14 11:17 PM

    There can be confusion about the purpose of a butterfly house, sometimes called butterfly boxes. Actually the better term to describe these small wooden boxes is hibernation box.

    Read More

  5. Butterfly Host Plants

    Oct 20, 14 12:12 AM

    The key to your garden are butterfly host plants. Without them butterflies will visit your blooming flowers for nectar only. Host plants create a welcoming habitat for them to stay.

    Read More