Panicum amarulum Hitchc. & Chase

Locations ofPanicum amarulum Hitchc. & Chase in Virginia

Show image with county labels


Botanical Name
Panicum amarulum Hitchc. & Chase
Common Name
Beach Panic Grass, Southern Seabeach Grass
Panicum amarum Ell. var. amarulum (Hitchc. & Chase) Palmer
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Panicum amarum Ell. var. amarulum (Hitchc. & Chase) Palmer
Map incomplete at present. See Comments under the map for the Panicum amarum complex. The two vars. of Panicum amarum were traditionally treated as separate species and differ in a consistent set of characters. Palmer (1975) found that although well-marked individuals of var. amarulum and var. amarum are distinctive, only the number and structure of the nerves of the first glume were constant enough over the range of the varieties to definitively separate them. In our area, however, the taxa are easy to distinguish in the field, differing conspicuously in general growth habit (long-rhizomatous with single stems in var. amarum vs. short-rhizomatous with dense multistem tufts in var. amarulum); foliage color (glaucous blue-green in var. amarum vs. green or yellowish green in var. amarulum); and panicle architecture (narrow, contracted, and spikelike in var. amarum vs. wider and more divergently many-branched in var. amarulum). Although the two sometimes co-occur in Coastal dune systems, var. amarulum is primarily a plant of secondary dunes and inland sands while var. amarum is most abundant on foredunes, upper beaches, and overwash flats. Because of these consistent morphological and ecological characters, we are following Flora of the Southeastern U.S. in again recognizing this taxon as a species.
Dune grasslands; openings in dune scrub, dune woodlands, and maritime forests; interdune swales; and sandy estuarine river shores; rarely in disturbed, nonmaritime or nonestuarine wetlands inland. Frequent to locally common in maritime and lower estuarine zones of the Coastal Plain; rare (possibly introduced) inland in the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Ridge and Valley.
Native Status

To save this map, right-click (control-click for Mac users) on the map and choose "Save Image As...".