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Common Name: Vine Mesquite
Panicum obtusum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Central and southern N. America - Missouri to Arizona and Mexico.
Damp flats, shores and waste places[
]. Usually found in dry soils according to another report[
]. Sandy or gravelly soils, mainly along the banks of rivers and irrigation ditches[
Prefers a moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun[
]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
The plant can produce stolons more than 2 metres long[
] and so has the potential to spread considerably[
Seed - cooked as a whole grain or ground into a powder and used as a flour with cornmeal[
]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize, though it has a pleasant, mild flavour and can e used as a staple food[
An infusion of the leaves is said to be a good wash for making the hair grow more quickly[
The dried and powdered stolons can be mixed with soapweed (Yucca species) and used as a tonic hair shampoo[
This species is occasionally planted for erosion control[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a week. Prick out the seedlings into trays or individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts[
Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.