Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Poaceae >>> Aristida adscensionis

Six Week Three Awn

Aristida adscensionis

scanned image of fresh specimen © by Michael Plagens

Observed on 04 March 2009 near First Water Trailhead, Superstition Wilderness, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA.

ANNUAL: Normally a delicate annual grass. With exceptional soil and water conditions plants might reach 50 cm tall. Several stems arise from the shallow root system. In the Sonoran Desert this grass appears in spring after winter rains and occasionally after summer rains in September and October.

INFLORESCENCE: The small, narrow spikes have a slight reddish-maroon color. The three awns per spikelet are not sharp and penetrating like the brome grasses.

LEAVES: Blades are less than 10 cm long and frequently have the margins curled.

RANGE: This is a common native grass on rocky slopes and wash banks in the Sonoran Desert where it is not crowded out by the exotics Red Brome Grass (Bromus rubens) or Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus).

FRUIT: The grains are small.


Poaceae -- Grass Family

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Photo by Mike Plagens

This plant is growing from a crevice in colorful volcanic tuff near Apache Junction, Arizona. March 2009.

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Sonoran Desert Field Guide
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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009