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P. virgatum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Supertribe: Panicodae
Tribe: Paniceae
Subtribe: Panicinae
Genus: Panicum
  • Aconisia J.R.Grande
  • Arthragrostis Lazarides
  • Chasea Nieuwl.
  • Eatonia Raf.
  • Eriolytrum Desv. ex Kunth, not validly publ.
  • Monachne P.Beauv.
  • Phanopyrum (Raf.) Nash
  • Polyneura Peter 1930, illegitimate homonym not Kylin 1924
  • Psilochloa Launert
  • Talasium Spreng.
  • Yakirra Lazarides & R.D.Webster

Panicum (panicgrass)[2] is a large genus of about 450 species of Poaceae grasses native throughout the tropical regions of the world, with a few species extending into the northern temperate zone. They are often large, annual or perennial grasses, growing to 1–3 m (3–10 ft) tall.[3][4]

The flowers are produced in a well-developed panicle often up to 60 cm (24 in) in length with numerous seeds, which are 1–6 mm (0.04–0.24 in) long and 1–2 mm (0.04–0.08 in) broad. The fruits are developed from a two-flowered spikelet. Only the upper floret of each spikelet is fertile; the lower floret is sterile or staminate. Both glumes are present and well developed.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

Australia has 29 native and 9 introduced species of Panicum.[11][12][13]

Well-known species include P. miliaceum (proso millet) and P. virgatum (switchgrass).

Selected species[edit]

Formerly classified in this genus, according to The Plant List:



  1. ^ "Panicum L." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 13 March 2024.
  2. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Panicum". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  3. ^ Freckmann, R. W. & M. G. Lelong. 2002. Nomenclatural changes and innovations in Panicum and Dichanthelium (Poaceae: Paniceae). Sida 20(1): 161–174
  4. ^ Valdes, B. & H. Scholz. 2006. "The Euro+Med treatment of Gramineae - a generic synopsis and some new names". Willdenowia 36(2): 657–669
  5. ^ Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 504 黍属 shu shu Panicum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 55. 1753.
  6. ^ Flora of Pakistan
  7. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Panicum includes photos and distribution maps of several species
  8. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps
  9. ^ Valdés-Reyna, J., F. O. Zuloaga, O. Morrone & L. Aragón Melchor. 2009. "El género Panicum (Poaceae: Panicoideae) en el noreste de México". Boletín de la Sociedad Botánica de México 84: 59–82.
  10. ^ Morrone, O., A. M. Antón & F. O. Zuloaga. 1995. "Axonopus". Flora Fanerogámica Argentina. 19(1): 11–16
  11. ^ Grasses of the Tweed Valley of NSW: An introductory field guide to locally common grasses: native and introduced, compiled by Penny Watsford, Nullum Publications, 2004 ISBN 0-9756823-0-X)
  12. ^ Ausgrass2, Grasses of Australia
  13. ^ "Atlas of Living Australia". Atlas of Living Australia. Archived from the original on 2016-05-27. Retrieved 2015-02-02.
  14. ^ *Britton, Nathaniel; Brown, Addison (1896). An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions From Newfoundland to the Parallel of the Southern Boundary of Virginia, and from the Atlantic Ocean Westward to the 102d Meridian. Vol. I, Ophioglossaceae to Aizoaceae. Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 612. page 123

External links[edit]