Pictured above: Schizachne purpurascens

This genus consists of fairly tall cespitose perennials with open, often purplish inflorescences (a panicle in our species). Spikelets are 1.5-2.5 cm long, with strongly nerved lemmas that are awned from a bifid apex. Leaf sheaths are closed.

There is 1 species in MN and it is native. 

Common species:
Schizachne purpurascens (shih zack' knee purr purr ass' sens)

  • Synonyms: None
  • Common names: false melic, purple melic grass
  • Origin and habitat: Native; fairly open, dry rocky or sandy woods, especially conifer forests
  • Identifying characters: This is generally found as isolated or few individuals with loosely clustered stems 4‑10 dm tall. The distinctive purplish tubular ligules are up to 1 mm long and generally longer in front. The panicles are nodding with 3‑5‑flowered purplish spikelets; awns are 8‑15 mm long. The lemmas also have a ring of hairs at the callus and the paleas also are hairy on the keels.

schizachne_purpurascens map
Additional species in Minnesota: 


Copyright 2002, A.F. Cholewa, J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota / No portion of this guide may be duplicated without written permission of author.