Scientific Name: Panicum amarum

Common Name: bitter panicgrass

Other Common Names: southern sea-beach panic-grass

Habit: Bitter Panicum is a native, perennial, rhizomatous, warm-season dune grass native to coastal regions. It grows upright and close to the ground forming large clumps.

Leaves: Leaves are blue-green in color, 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, 7 to 20 inches long, and smooth without hair. No auricles are present. The ligule is hairy and is 1-5 mm in length. The leaf sheath is closed and overlap.

Identifying Characteristics: It is a robust grass that can grow up to 4 to 8 ft in height and has deep, extensive rhizome system that spreading slowly to form open clumps.

Flower Seed Head: The inflorescence is a narrow panicle 12 to 15 inches in length. Flowers from August to December. Flowering begins in September and continues through December.

Where Found: Bitter panicgrass grows in coastal wetlands, wet sandy soils, overwash sands, and margins of swamps. It can withstand extended periods of drought. The basic use for bitter panicgrass is erosion control of coastal dunes. It is native to North American and can be found in the U.S. from the east through the lower midwest. Bitter panicgrass is found on sand dunes from New England to Mexico.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: not present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rolled in bud

  • Hair surface: no hairs

  • Ligule: hairy

  • Length: 1-2 mm; more than 3 mm

  • Seed head: panicle

  • Width: less than 5 mm; more than 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round