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Digitaria cognata (Carolina crabgrass)
Strickland, Sam C.

Digitaria cognata

Digitaria cognata (Schult.) Pilg.

Carolina Crabgrass, Fall Witchgrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Digitaria cognata var. cognata, Leptoloma cognatum

USDA Symbol: DICO6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Plant: "Knotty" at base, open panicles of spikelets on slender, spreading branches and pedicles. Culms: 30-80 cm. tall, much-branched at base. Inflorescence: Breaks off to form a "tumbleweed".


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 32 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Fruit pale or in some populations turning brown or blackish.


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CT , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Texas: Nearly throughout, most abundant on the Coastal Plain and in north-central Texas, frequent elsewhere. U.S.A.: New Hampshire to Minnesota, south to Florida and Texas, west to Arizona.
Native Habitat: Loose sandy prairies.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry


Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval host for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Treatment: No special pre-treatment.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0979 Collected Nov 4, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike Fox

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-43 Collected 2006-11-03 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Additional resources

USDA: Find Digitaria cognata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Digitaria cognata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Digitaria cognata


Record Modified: 2007-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff

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