Digitaria filiformis
Slender finger grass

Key Characteristics

Slender, tufted grass of sandy soils; leaf sheaths hairy, plant not rooting at lower nodes; inflorescence fan-shaped with several branches, not winged; spikelets tiny (1-2 mm), borne on one side of the rachis.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Digitaria filiformis

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Michigan's only collection of this species near Edwardsburg in 1838 notes the habitat only as dry prairie; elsewhere this grass occurs in sandy, relatively sterile soils to oak barrens and moist prairies.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

No data available for Michigan; likely associates could include such species as little bluestem, Pennsylvania sedge, poverty grass, black oak, and needle grass.


The primary need for this species is a status survey to determine if it is extant within the state. It may persist in an oak barrens or prairie remnant. If found, it would likely require management to maintain and restore prairie openings, including prescribed fire and possible soil disturbance.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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