Perennial tufted, rhizome-bearing herb to 1.85 m tall Leaves: borne along the culm, with hairless sheaths and ligules that are 0.7 - 1 mm long, membranous, and lined with hairs along the margins. The blades are 7 - 22 cm long, 4 - 22 mm wide, flat, and often hairless but occasionally soft-haired on the upper surface. Inflorescence: 8 - 35 cm long, open, with nodding branches. Fruit: a laterally compressed caryopsis, 2.9 - 5 mm long, usually not exposed when mature. Culm: to 1.5 cm long, 2 - 4 mm across at the nodes, usually unbranched. Spikelets: 1.5 - 5 cm long, 0.6 - 2 cm wide, laterally compressed. Glumes: nearly equal, hairless, with a five- to seven-veined lower glume 4.2 - 9.1 mm long and a five- to nine-veined upper glume 4.7 - 8.7 mm long. Florets: six to 26 per spikelet, with one anther 0.4 - 3.5 mm long and two reddish purple, feather-like styles. The lowest one to three florets on a spikelet are sterile. Lemma: of fertile florets 9 - 12.5 mm long, straight, hairless, eleven- to fifteen-veined, with rough- to hairy-winged longitudinal ridges. Palea: 4.6 - 7.7 mm long, hairless, swollen on one side near the base, with two winged longitudinal ridges.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: July to October
Habitat and ecology: Rare on shaded floodplains.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Chasmanthium comes from the Greek words chasma, meaning yawn, and anthos, meaning flower. Latifolium means wide-leaved.
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This is an open woodland species and is found mostly in our southern counties although Miss Madge McKee found it along the Iroquois River in Newton County. It is found in greatest abundance in slightly acid, hard clay soils of the bottomlands. It occurs, however, in upland woods and even on the rocky cliffs along the Ohio River.
Loosely colonial from short, stout rhizomes, 10-15 dm; sheaths glabrous; lf-blades 1-2 dm נ1-2 cm; infl open, nodding or drooping; spikelets green, nodding on slender pedicels, ovate or lance-ovate, 6-17-fld, (15-) 20-40 mm; glumes and the 1-2 sterile lemmas lance-linear, subequal, two-thirds as long as the lance-ovate fertile lemmas, these 11-15-veined, with pilose callus; palea much shorter than the lemma; grain 3-5 נ2-2.5 mm, mostly enclosed between the lemma and palea; 2n=48. Moist woods and streambanks; N.J. to Ga. and nw. Fla., w. to s. O., Ind., Ill., Kans., and Tex. (Uniola l.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.