Panicum schinzii

7. Panicum schinzii Hack. (syn.: P. laevifolium Hack.) (S-Afr.) – A rather rare alien but obviously increasing in the past decades. Formerly regularly recorded as an ephemeral wool alien in the Vesdre valley, at least between 1887 and 1953 (always as Panicum compressum Biv. and/or P. repens L.; see Verloove 2001). At present sometimes seen on dumps, wasteland or along road verges, most likely as a casual grain alien (perhaps always with birdseed waste). In 1983 collected for the first time in a maize field in Turnhout but long confused with Panicum dichotomiflorum (Verloove 2001). By now locally fully naturalised and probably still increasing locally, especially in the province of Antwerpen. However, populations of Panicum schinzii are much less densely clustered than those of P. dichotomiflorum (Verloove 2002, Hoste 2006) and it seems to spread in a more diffuse way.

Panicum schinzii is usually readily distinguished from P. dichotomiflorum by its blunter spikelets and staminate lower florets (nearly always neuter in the latter; but see also under that species!). However, stamens are sometimes soon deciduous and some spikelets might erroneously be taken for neuter. Forms with lower florets neuter have been reported from South Africa (Gibbs Russell & al. 1991). Leaf sheaths are, as a rule, glabrous but occasionally plants with hairy leaf sheaths have been observed. In fact, young leaves sometimes tend to be slightly hairy. Therefore, mature leaves are preferably examined.

Herbarium specimen

Panicum schinzii, spikelet Panicum schinzii, inflorescence - drawing S.Bellanger

Panicum schinzii, leaf sheath

Panicum schinzii, Balen (Mol), rough ground, September 2011, R. Barendse
  Panicum schinzii, Balen (Mol), rough ground, September 2011, R. Barendse


Selected literature:

Gibbs Russell G.E., Watson L., Koekemoer M., Smook L., Barker N.P., Anderson H.M. & Dallwitz M.J. (1991) Grasses of southern Africa. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa n° 58: IX + 437 p.

Hoste I. (2006) Panicum schinzii. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 644.

Reijerse F. & Stolwijk P. (2002) Panicum schinzii Hack. ingeburgerd in Nederland. Gorteria 28: 77-80.

Verloove F. (2001) A revision of the genus Panicum (Poaceae, Paniceae) in Belgium. Syst. Geogr. Pl. 71: 53-72.

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith