Dichanthelium lanuginosum

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Dichanthelium lanuginosum
Dichanthelium lanuginosum USGS-1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Dichanthelium
Species: D. lanuginosum
Binomial name
Dichanthelium lanuginosum
(Ell.) Gould

Dichanthelium lanuginosum (Panic grass) is a species of grass. It is widespread in North America, and is most common in central and eastern United States. It is found in a variety of habitats, mostly in open, dry areas.[1]

A variety, D. lanuginosum var. thermale, grows in geothermal areas of Yellowstone National Park, United States. It is able to withstand high temperatures and high acidity in its rhizosphere.[2] In 2007 it was found that the heat tolerance is conferred to the grass by a symbiosis between a fungus and a virus. When it is colonised by the fungus Curvularia protuberata and the fungus is in turn colonised by a particular virus, the grass is able to tolerate soil temperatures of up to 65 °C that would otherwise be lethal.[3] Due to the distinctiveness and isolation of this taxon, it is sometimes considered to be a separate species: Dichanthelium thermale.[1]


  1. ^ a b Thomas, Justin (21 September 2015). "Revision of Dichanthelium sect. Lanuginosa (POACEAE)" (PDF). Phytoneuron. 2015 (50): 1–50. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  2. ^ Stout, R. G.; Stout R. G.; Summers M. L.; Kerstetter T.; McDermott T. R. (1997). "Heat- and acid-tolerance of a grass commonly found in geothermal areas within Yellowstone National Park". Plant science. 130 (1): 1–9. ISSN 0168-9452. doi:10.1016/S0168-9452(97)00205-7. 
  3. ^ Márquez, Luis; Regina Redman; Russell Rodriguez; Marilyn J. Roossinck (2007). "A Virus in a Fungus in a Plant: Three-Way Symbiosis Required for Thermal Tolerance" (PDF). Science. 315 (5811): 513–5. PMID 17255511. doi:10.1126/science.1136237.