Steinchisma laxa (Sw.) Zuloaga
Synonym: Panicum laxum Sw.
Natural range: Very widespread tropical weedy grass.
Habitat: Shores and low, moist woods
Florida status: This Pantropical weed was unknown in Florida until 2007. Perhaps it arrived on the series of hurricanes 2004-2006, or as a hitchhiker on nursery stock, perhaps abetted by Global Warming. Since that time (or since whenever it arrived unnoticed) the grass has spread and is now fairly common in moist sunny or shaded habitats, sometimes forming extensive stands.
Recognition: Resembling Panicum (and often classified as one). 1'-3' tall with pyramid-shaped panicle, the branches straight and nearly horizontal. Has extremely small spikelets, under 1.5 mm. When mature, with 2 indurate paleas. Spikelets may be gaping (open-mouthed) due to enlarged paleas.
Steinchisma hians has an irregularly shaped inflorescence.
In the present project, Steinchisma species are keyed with Panicum.