Digitaria ciliaris

Digitaria ciliaris (Retz.) Koel.

Common Names: Southern Crab Grass

Family: Poaceae

Habit: Digitaria ciliaris grows as an annual spreading outward and rooting at the nodes.  Stems and leaves slightly pubescent. Upright branches to 50 cm in height. The leaves are arranged alternately to 10 cm in length (usually shorter) with a basal sheath extending along the stem. At the point of divergence of the leaf sheath to the leaf blade is a small membranous ligule. The leaves are parallel veined.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in a 4-9 digitate panicle of racemes each up to 10 cm in length and made of appressed spikelets. The rachis is triangular and winged. At the base of each spikelet are 2 yellow brown, ciliate structures called glumes. In each spikelet there are flowering structures each is subtended by 2 additional ciliate edged structures (lemma and palea). There is 1 fertile floret with 3 stamen and a superior ovary each with a single locule and seed.  The fruit is a caryopsis.

Habitat: Digitaria ciliaris grows in Human Altered environments (yards, old fields).

Distribution: Digitaria ciliaris is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but is widespread throughout the islands.  It is native to the Africa, the Middle East, and now throughout North, Central, and South America and Australia.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Digitaria ciliaris is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is cultivated for lawn grass and for grazing animals.