Fall panicum

Panicum dichotomiflorum Michx.

Life cycle

Erect summer annual.


Leaves are hairless at maturity, up to 20 inches long with a prominent, white midvein. Leaf sheaths are also hairless at maturity, and there are no hairs on the sheath margin. Seedlings may have hairs on the lower leaf surface and sheath, becoming less hairy with age.

fall panicum midvein
Prominent, white midvein of fall panicum.




Erect, bending in a zigzag manner at the nodes, up to 6 feet tall. 

fall panicum ligule
Fall panicum collar region.

Flowers and fruit

The seedhead is a large, open and spreading panicle that may be purple-tinted at maturity and yields small, straw-colored, oval seeds.

fall panicum seedhead
Fall panicum seedhead.



Similar weeds

Wild proso millet (P. miliaceum L.) Differs by having long, mostly perpendicular, stiff hairs covering both leaf surfaces and sheath and a nodding panicle with large, shiny, olive-brown to black, oval-shaped seeds. Seeds often persist on the roots of seedlings.

wild proso millet foliage
Wild proso millet collar region.

Witchgrass (P. capillare L.) Differs by having dense, mostly perpendicular, soft hairs covering the entire plant. 

witchgrass foliage
Witchgrass collar region.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.