Plants densely cespitose. Basal rosettes poorly differentiated;
blades ovate to lanceolate. Culms 15-55 cm, slender, erect or radiating
from a large tuft of predominantly basal leaves, lower internodes short, upper
3-5 internodes elongate; nodes bearded with soft, spreading or retrorse
hairs; internodes glabrous; fall phase branching extensively from
the basal nodes, forming a dense cushion that overwinters. Cauline leaves
2-4; sheaths usually longer than the internodes, pilose, hairs to 4 mm,
retrorse or spreading; ligules 0.2-1 mm, at low magnification appearing
to be membranous and ciliate, at high magnification evidently of hairs that are
coherent at the base; blades 4-17 cm long, 4-12 mmwide, lanceolate, at least
3/4 as long as the basal blades, spreading to suberect, thin, soft, lax, yellowish-green,
nearly glabrous or densely pilose on 1 or both surfaces, margins usually finely
short-ciliate, at least on the basal 1/2, cilia not papillose-based. Primary
panicles 4-12 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, well-exserted; secondary panicles
more compact, usually not exserted above the crowded basal leaves; rachises
and branches wiry, spreading or deflexed, often pilose. Spikelets
1.7-2.3 mm long, 1-1.2 mm wide, broadly ovate or oblong-obovoid, with papillose-based
hairs, obtuse. Lower glumes 1/4-1/3 as long as the spikelets, broadly deltoid;
upper glumes and lower lemmas subequal, usually fully covering the
upper florets; upper florets 1.5-1.8 mm long, 1-1.2 mm wide, broadly ellipsoid
or obovoid, minutely umbonate. 2n = 18.
Dichanthelium laxiflorum is a widespread, common species that grows in mesic
deciduous woods, and occasionally in drier, more open woodlands. Its range extends
south from the Flora region into Mexico. The density of the pubescence
on the blade surfaces varies greatly.
The primary (spring) panicles are apparently chasmogamous; the secondary panicles
are largely cleistogamous and are produced from late spring to winter.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
An infrequent species in the area shown on the map. It is usually found on wooded slopes, most often at their bases.