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Key to Dichanthelium, Key A: Plants densely tufted, often cushion-forming; leaves basally disposed, the blades ascending or spreading-ascending,
not forming a distinct rosette of basal leaves shorter than the culm leaves; autumnal culms branching basally or from the lower nodes

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1 Spikelets 2.4-4.5 mm long.
..2 Nodes, internodes, and sheaths glabrous; blades 4-13 cm, 5-8 mm, the surfaces smooth, glabrous; spikelets 2.4-2.9 mm long, glabrous; not known to produce axillary (autumnal) inflorescences
..2 Nodes bearded or otherwise pubescent; internodes and sheaths variously pubescent to glabrate; blades 6-35 cm, 2-5 mm, one or both surfaces scabrous and often pubescent; spikelets 1.7-4.5 mm long, glabrous or pubescent; plants produce axillary (autumnal) inflorescences.
....3 Spikelets 2.8-3.8 (-4.5) mm long, the second glume and sterile lemma pointed or beaked and extended beyond the summit of the fertile lemma; first glume 1.2-2 mm long
....3 Spikelets 1.7-2.8 mm long, the second glume and sterile lemma blunt or broadly pointed, not extending beyond the summit of the fertile lemma; first glume 0.7-1.2 mm long
1 Spikelets 0.9-2.3 mm long.
......4 Longer blades > 6 cm; if only 6 cm, then sheaths retrorsely long-pilose (D. laxiflorum).
........5 Spikelets 1.2-1.5 mm long, glabrous
........5 Spikelets (1.4-) 1.7-2.3 (-2.8) mm long, pubescent.
..........6 Longer blades 10-35 cm long, 2-4 mm wide; sheaths glabrous to variously pilose, but not conspicuously retrorsely long-pilose; nodes variously pubescent to glabrate; spikelets 1.7-2.3 (-2.8) mm long
..........6 Longer blades 6-18 cm long, 7-12 mm wide; sheaths conspicuously retrorsely long-pilose; nodes bearded with retrorse or spreading hairs; spikelets (1.4-) 1.9-2.3 (-2.5) mm long
......4 Longer blades 1.5-6 cm; sheaths glabrous or pubescent, but not retrorsely long-pilose.
............ 7 Blades 1-3 mm wide, glabrous, eciliate or basally ciliate; spikelets 0.9-1.2 (-1.4) mm long.
image of plant
Show caption*© Scott Ward
............ ..8 Spikelets pubescent, 1.2-1.4 mm long; blades involute, often falcate, 2.5-6 cm long; [endemic to c. and s. FL scrub]
image of plant
Show caption*© Scott Ward
............ ..8 Spikelets glabrous, 0.9-1.2 mm long; blades flat, not falcate, 1.5-4 (-5) cm long; [wet sites, VA s. to FL, w. to e. LA]
............ 7 Blades 3-8 mm wide; spikelets 1.1-2.1 mm long (or if < 1.5 mm long, then blades either pubescent on one or both surfaces or ciliate to the apex).
............ ....9 Spikelets pubescent, 1.5-2.1 mm long; blade surfaces glabrous
............ ....9 Spikelets glabrous, 1.1-1.8 mm long; blade surfaces pubescent or glabrous.
............ ......10 Blades glabrous, or sparsely pilose only near the adaxial base; spikelets 1.4-1.8 mm long
............ ......10 Blades pilose, at least abaxially; spikelets 1.1-1.6 mm long

Key to Dichanthelium, Key B: Spikelets 3.3-5.2 mm long

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1 Nodes (at least the lower) densely bearded with retrorse hairs; spikelets 3.3-5.2 mm long; ligule ciliate, the membranous base minute or obsolete.
..2 Ligule 2.5-4 mm long; lower internodes pubescent with long ascending or spreading hairs; cauline blades 8-15 cm long, 10-25 mm wide; first glume 1.8-2.5 mm long
..2 Ligule 0.3-1.3 mm long; lower internodes glabrous or pubescent with ascending hairs; cauline blades 5-15 cm long, either 1-13 or 12-40 mm wide; first glume 1.2-2.2 mm long.
....3 Basal as well as cauline blades linear, 1-4 mm wide, > 30× as long as wide; spikelets 2.8-3.8 (-4.5) mm long
....3 Cauline blades narrowly lanceolate to broadly ovate-lanceolate, 4-40 mm wide, < 20× as long as wide; spikelets 3.3-5.2 mm long.
......4 Blades 12-40 mm wide, broadly ovate-lanceolate, basally cordate; spikelets 3.8-5.2 mm long, 1.7-2.2 mm wide; first glume narrowly triangular; second glume shorter than fertile lemma
......4 Blades 4-14 mm wide, narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, basally narrowed, rounded, or subcordate; spikelets 3.3-4.5 mm long, 1.2-1.9 mm wide; first glume broadly ovate to triangular; second glume 0.0-0.5 mm longer than fertile lemma.
........5 Lowest elongate internode puberulent to glabrous; lower culm sheaths shorter than internodes, upper culm sheaths longer; blades lanceolate, about 10× as long as wide; blade bases narrowly rounded to subcordate; spikelets 3.3-4.0 mm long, blunt to acute; first glume broadly ovate; second glume equaling or exceeding fertile lemma by 0.2 mm
........5 Lowest elongate internode moderately to densely papillose-pubescent with spreading to ascending hairs; all culm sheaths shorter than internodes; blades narrowly lanceolate, about 15× as long as wide; blade bases narrowed; spikelets 3.5-4.5 mm long, beaked; first glume triangular to ovate; second glume exceeding fertile lemma by 0.2-0.5 mm
1 Nodes glabrous, pubescent, or sparsely pilose; spikelets (2.4-) 3.3-4.2 mm long; ligules membranous, ciliate, or both.
..........6 Ligule 1.6-3 mm long; blades 4-9 mm wide, > 10× as long as wide
..........6 Ligule 0.2-1.5 mm long; if larger blades < 9 mm wide and mostly 15× or more as long, then ligule 0.5-1 mm long.
............ 7 Larger blades 2-6 (-8) mm wide, 10-15× or more as long as wide (if shorter, then culms arising from hard corm-like bases and culms with 8-14 leaves); spikelets basally attenuate.
............ ..8 Culm bases not corm-like; blades usually 15× or more as long as wide, their bases narrowed; vernal panicle usually matures before development of primary branches; upper glume and sterile lemma exceeding fertile lemma, beak-like
............ ..8 Culm bases hard, corm-like; blades usually 10-15× as long as wide, their bases rounded to truncate; primary branches usually develop before maturation of vernal panicle; upper glume about 0.3 mm shorter than fertile lemma, sterile lemma about equaling fertile lemma.
............ ....9 Cauline leaves 8-14; blades thick, puberulent, parallel-sided proximally; ligule of cilia only; vernal panicles 3-13 × 2-8 cm; pedicels ± appressed; lower glumes deltoid, bases fully encircling pedicel
............ ....9 Cauline leaves 4-7; blades thin, glabrous to sparsely hirsute, widening proximally; ligule a ciliate membrane; vernal panicles 3-6 × 2-4 cm; pedicels ± divergent; lower glumes narrowly triangular, bases partially encircling pedicel
............ 7 Larger blades 6-35 mm wide, mostly 10× or less as long as wide; spikelet bases rounded to narrowed.
............ ......10 Spikelets strongly papillose-hispid with spreading hairs 0.5-1 mm long; blades papillose-hispid
............ ......10 Spikelets glabrous to pubescent with hairs < 0.5 mm long; blades glabrous, scabrous, or pubescent.
............ ........11 Spikelet apex acute; second glume and sterile lemma exceeding fertile lemma by 0.3-0.8 mm
............ ........11 Spikelet apex rounded to sub-acute; second glume and sterile lemma equaling or shorter than fertile lemma.
............ ..........12 Ligules 1-1.5 mm long; blades 5-10 cm long by 6-15 mm wide, glabrous or pubescent, basally rounded; spikelets glabrous to pubescent
............ ..........12 Ligules 0.3-1 mm long; blades 7-35 cm long by 8-35 mm wide, glabrous or scabrous, basally cordate or rounded; spikelets pubescent to glabrate.
............ ............ 13 Sheaths (at least lower) papillose-hispid with spreading hairs; ligule 0.5-1.2 mm long, an eciliate membrane; culm blades 10-28 cm long; spikelets 2.4-3.6 mm long; first glume 1.2-1.8 mm long
............ ............ 13 Sheaths glabrous or pubescent (the upper papillose-pubescent in D. xanthophysum); ligules 0-0.7 mm long, ciliate if more than 0.3 mm long; culm blades 5-18 cm long; spikelets 2.2-4.1 mm long; first glume 0.7-2.6 mm long.
............ ............ ..14 Upper sheaths glabrous to softly villous basally; ligules 0.4-0.7 mm long, a short-ciliate membrane; culm blades 15-40 mm wide, the bases cordate-clasping; panicle usually more than half as wide as long
............ ............ ..14 Upper sheaths glabrous, puberulent, or papillose-pubescent; ligules 0-0.5 mm long, eciliate or ciliate; culm blades 5-25 mm wide, the bases cordate-clasping or rounded; panicles less or more than half as wide as long.
............ ............ ....15 Upper sheaths glabrous or puberulent; ligules 0-0.3 mm long, eciliate; culm blades cordate-clasping; panicles usually more than half as wide as long; spikelets 3.3-3.7 mm long, ellipsoid, apex obtuse to pointed
............ ............ ....15 Upper sheaths papillose-pubescent; ligules 0.3-0.5 mm long, ciliate; culm blade bases rounded; panicles usually less than half as wide as long; spikelets 3.2-4.1 mm long, obovoid, blunt

Key to Dichanthelium, Key D: Spikelets 2.1-3.2 mm long, larger culm blades < 13 mm wide,
at least the lower culm nodes bearded with a usually spreading-ascending collar of dense and/or longish hairs

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1 Ligule with a dense ring of short hairs 0.5-1 mm long, and behind it a ring of longer hairs 1-5 mm long called the pesudoligule (see introduction for discussion of the so-called double ligule).
..2 Culms > 100 cm long; node pubescence densely retrorse; larger blades 12-20 cm long; spikelets acute, 1.9-2.3 mm long, 2× or more as long as wide
..2 Culms < 100 cm long (rarely longer); node pubescence various; larger blades 3-12 cm long; spikelets rounded to blunt, (1.0-) 1.1-2.0 mm long, less than 2 × as long as wide.
....3 Plants velvety-pubescent throughout; nodes retrorsely bearded; internode pubescence retrorse to spreading; blades usually ciliate above base as well as basally; mature vernal panicles 3-7 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, about 2/3 as wide as long
....3 Plants densely pubescent to glabrate, but lacking velvety pubescence; nodes with spreading to ascending pubescence (sometimes retrorse in D. villosissimum); internode pubescence ascending, appressed, or spreading; blades ciliate only at base (sometimes appearing ciliate laterally in D. ovale var. ovale); mature vernal panicles 4-10 cm long, nearly or equally as wide.
......4 Lower internodes with retrorse or spreading hairs to 3+ mm long; blade adaxial surface pilose with hairs to 4+ mm long, these appressed and angled away from the leaf axis; spikelets 2.1-2.5 mm long
......4 Lower internodes pilose with (spreading-) ascending to appressed hairs, or nearly glabrous; blade adaxial surface sparsely appressed-pubescent to glabrate; spikelets 2.1-3.1 mm long.
........5 Spikelets 2.1-2.6 mm long; lower culm blades usually sparsely appressed-pubescent on both surfaces, eciliate or ciliate at the base only
........5 Spikelets 2.5-3.1 mm long; lower culm blades usually glabrous adaxially except for long hairs at or near the margin (appearing ciliate), appressed-pubescent abaxially
1 Ligule a single structure, without a pseudoligule.
..........6 Ligule < 2 mm long, ciliate or membranous.
............ 7 Ligule a stramineous to light brown membrane, with or without terminal cilia; peduncle antrorsely scabrous but not hairy.
............ ..8 Panicle rachis smooth, pellucid-punctate; first glume 0.3-0.6 (-0.8 ) mm long, as broad as or broader than long, truncate to obtuse; larger leaves 10-25 cm long, 8-15 mm wide; ligule 0.5-1.3 mm long; lowest elongate culm internode > 2 mm in diameter; lowest nodes usually glabrous or pubescent
............ ..8 Panicle rachis scabrous or smooth, not pellucid-punctate; first glume 0.5-1.1 mm long, longer than wide, rounded to acute; larger leaves 3.5-12 cm long, 3-9 mm wide; ligule 0.1-0.6 mm long; lowest elongate culm internode < 2 mm in diameter; lowest nodes retrorsely bearded or glabrous.
............ ....9 Lowest nodes usually retrorsely bearded; ligules (0.1-) 0.3-0.6 mm long; largest vernal blades 7-12 cm long, (4.5-) 6-9 mm wide; panicle peduncle scabrous; spikelets ovate-lanceolate, acute, 2.0-2.4 mm long; first glume lanceolate, blunt to acute; fertile lemma smooth
............ ....9 Lowest nodes usually glabrous; ligules 0.1-0.2 (-0.3) mm long; largest vernal blades 3.5-7 cm long, 3-6 mm wide; panicle peduncle smooth; spikelets elliptic, blunt to acute, 1.6-2.2 mm long; first glume ovate to rotund, rounded to acute; fertile lemma papillose
............ 7 Ligule entirely of white hairs; peduncle variously hairy or glabrous, but not antrorsely scabrous.
............ ......10 Culms with a viscid band below the retrorsely bearded nodes; internodes, sheaths, and blades velvety-pubescent
............ ......10 Culms without a viscid band below the retrorsely, spreading, or antrorsely bearded nodes; internodes and sheaths not velvety-pubescent, blades velvety-pubescent in some.
............ ........11 Basal as well as cauline blades linear, 5-15 cm long,; 1-4 mm wide, 30× or more as long as wide; spikelets 2.8-3.8 (-4.5) mm long
............ ........11 Blades < 15× as long as wide (if > 15×, then spikelets 1.9-2.5 mm long and sheaths retrorsely pilose in D. laxiflorum).
............ ..........12 Blades (15-) 20× or more as long as wide, increasing in length upwards on culm; blade adaxial surface (weakly-) strongly scabrous; sheaths glabrous; second glume and sterile lemma exceeding fertile lemma
............ ..........12 Blades < 15× as long as wide, similar or more often decreasing in size upwards on culm (if increasing, then sheaths strongly retrorsely pilose in D. laxiflorum); blade adaxial surface smooth to moderately scabrous; second glume and sterile lemma shorter than to exceeding fertile lemma.
............ ............ 13 Nodes retrorsely bearded; larger vernal leaves 7-15 mm wide.
............ ............ ..14 Sheaths retrorsely pilose with hairs 2-3 mm long; basal leaves usually numerous, ascending, similar in size and shape to the culm leaves; culms branching only at the base in autumnal phase
............ ............ ..14 Sheaths glabrous or pilose (if pilose, then hairs not both retrorse and 2-3 mm long); basal leaves rosette-forming, usually much shorter than culm leaves; culms branching above base in autumnal phase.
............ ............ ....15 Plants rarely > 1 m in length; lower internodes glabrous to sparsely hairy; vernal cauline leaves 3-7; spikelets 1.8-2.8 mm long, elliptic to lance-ovate, blunt to acute, glabrous or pubescent
............ ............ ....15 Plants often > 1 m in length; lowest internodes moderately to densely villous; vernal cauline leaves 6-15; spikelets 1.8-2.2 mm long, obovoid to broadly ellipsoid, rounded to blunt, pubescent
............ ............ 13 Nodes spreading to antrorsely bearded; larger vernal leaves 3-10 mm wide.
............ ............ ......16 Culm internodes glabrous to sparsely pilose; culm nodes bearded with long retrorse hairs; blade surfaces glabrous to velvety-pubescent
............ ............ ......16 Culm internodes, at least the lower, strigose, pilose, or villous; culm nodes bearded with ascending or spreading hairs; blade surfaces glabrous or variously hairy.
............ ............ ........17 Lower nodes bearded with erect-ascending, soft, and long hairs; mid-culm blades usually 20× or more as long as wide.
............ ............ ..........18 Spikelets (3.0-) 3.2-3.8 mm long, fusiform, pointed at summit, attenuate at base, with both glumes attached 0.3-0.5 mm below sterile lemma, the autumnal spikelets 3.5-3.8 mm long; larger vernal blades 3-6 mm wide, the lower and mid-culm blades of similar width; autumnal blades involute
............ ............ ..........18 Spikelets 1.8-3.1 mm long, obovate, blunt, and the base not attenuate except in D. arenicoloides with autumnal spikelets 2.3-3.1 mm long; larger vernal blades 2-8 mm wide, the lower usually wider and often shorter than mid-culm blades; autumnal blades involute or flat.
............ ............ ............ 19 Longest vernal blades to 16 cm, widest vernal blades 4-8 mm, usually longitudinally wrinkled; vernal and autumnal spikelets 2.3-3.1 mm long; autumnal blades flat, the larger to 9 cm × 2-4 mm
............ ............ ............ 19 Longest vernal blades to 6 (D. aciculare) or 12 (D. arenicoloides) cm long, 2-5 mm wide, not noticeably wrinkled; vernal spikelets 1.5-2.8 mm long, autumnal spikelets either 1.5-2.3 (D. aciculare) or 2.3-3.1 (D. arenicoloides); autumnal blades involute, the larger to 6 cm × 1.5 mm.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Longest vernal blades to 6 (-8) cm, widest vernal blades 2-5 mm; vernal and autumnal spikelets 1.7-2.3 mm long, blunt, not attenuate, the glumes attached <0.2 mm below sterile lemma; first glumes 0.6-0.9 mm long; larger autumnal blades to 3 cm by 1 mm
............ ............ ............ ..20 Longest vernal blades to 12 cm, widest vernal blades 3-4 (-5) mm; vernal spikelets 2.1-2.8 mm long; autumnal spikelets 2.3-3.1 mm long, pointed, attenuate, the glumes attached 0.3-0.5 mm below sterile lemma; first glumes 0.7-1.5 mm long; larger autumnal blades to 6 cm by 1.5 mm
............ ............ ........17 Lower and often mid-culm nodes bearded with spreading, stiffish, and short-to-long hairs; mid-culm blades usually 15× or less as long as wide.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Blades stiff, often longitudinally ribbed, at least the lower villous or strongly pilose on the abaxial surface, and pilose to hirsute on the adaxial surface, at least proximally.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Spikelets 2.3-3.0 mm long; ligule < 1 mm long; mid-culm blades 4-8 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ......22 Spikelets 1.7-2.0 (-2.3) mm long; ligule 1-2.5 mm long; mid-culm leaves 2-5 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ....21 Blades not noticeably stiff nor longitudinally ribbed, pubescent or strigose underneath, glabrous above or with a few long hairs near the base.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Spikelet bases strongly attenuate, apices blunt to beaked; first glume (2/5-) ½-2/3 (-4/5) as long as spikelet, attached 0.3-0.5 (-0.7) mm belong expansion of second glume and sterile lemma; larger vernal blades 3-6 (-7) mm wide
............ ............ ............ ........23 Spikelet bases not noticeably attenuate, apices rounded to obtuse; first glume < ½ as long as spikelet, attached < 0.3 mm below expansion of second glume and sterile lemma; larger vernal blades 5-12 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Culms 50-140 cm long; lowest internodes usually purplish; leaf sheaths often viscid-spotted; leaf blades glabrous abaxially, glabrous and scabrous adaxially; spikelets 1.8-2.2 mm long
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Culms 15-60 cm long; lowest internodes usually olive- or bluish-green; leaf sheaths not viscid-spotted; leaf blades appressed-pubescent abaxially, glabrous and smooth to appressed pubescent adaxially; spikelets 2.1-3.1 mm long.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Spikelets 2.1-2.6 mm long; lower culm blades usually sparsely appressed-pubescent on both surfaces, eciliate or ciliate at the base only
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Spikelets 2.5-3.1 mm long; lower culm blades usually glabrous adaxially except for long hairs at or near the margin (appearing ciliate), appressed-pubescent abaxially
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