Panic Grass, Dichanthelium laxiflorum, is a native, cool season grass growing in southern Illinois and a few scattered counties in central Illinois. Panic Grass forms a short bunch, staying around six to eight inches tall. Its broad leaves and leaf sheaths are densely covered in long hairs. It flowers in the spring, producing a panicle inflorescence with round spikelets. The rachis and the spikelets themselves are also very hairy.
If you're hiking in the woods and see a short bunchgrass that's really hairy, it's likely that you've found Panic Grass.
This video is part of the Grasses at a Glance series by Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Educator Erin Garrett, University of Illinois Extension. Explore the playlist. Read our blog, Grasses at a Glance.