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Since several of you have asked about my "Bunting Weed", I'd like to forward 
this info from Michael Meisenburg, a biologist at UF.  At his suggestion, I 
googled Dichanthelium and the closest I can come to my weed is d. 
commutatum.
Hope this helps.

Julie Cocke
Jacksonville
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Meisenburg,Michael J" <[log in to unmask]>
To: "JULIE & BILL COCKE" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:43 AM
Subject: RE: [FLBIRDS] Indigo Bunting, etc.


Julie,

It is a grass in the genus Dichanthelium, but I'm not good enough to
know the species.  These used to be in the genus Panicum, and were
collectively referred to as panic grasses.  Recently they were placed
into their own genus and are now sometimes called witchgrasses.  They
may be placed back into Panicum at some time.  There are around 19 to 25
species in the state.

Based on what I've seen, these are very important grasses for
seed-eating birds.  I have noticed that the seed heads are often
stripped of seeds and have watched indigo buntings, blue grosbeaks, and
northern cardinals feed on them. I suspect many more species feed on
them (e.g. the typical seed eaters of turkey, quail, painted buntings,
sparrows, as well as wrens, catbirds, mockingbirds, brown thrashers, and
so on).  Once a Cedar Key I watched a male indigo bunting and a male
blue grosbeak feeding at the same plant, facing each other on opposite
sides.  It would have made a tremendous photo.  I think that the plant
could also be used in native landscaping as the many species can be
quite attractive.

If you Google Florida Dichanthelium you'll get some good sites (such as
Shirley Denton's great photographs;
http://www.shirleydenton.com/plants/plantindex.php?id=D).

Michael

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