Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Poaceae >>> Cynodon dactylon
Scan made from specimen found in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 11 Oct, 2008.
PERENNIAL: Perennial grass of pastures and lawns mostly low growing, but
unmown plants can reach ½ meter
tall. Usually spreading by means of
stolons. Plants can grow up and through supporing vegetation.
This non-native grass has been adopted by the Phyleus Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) as the larval host plant. Apparently bermuda grass has biochemical and ecological similarities to this butterfly's original native host. Bermuda grass, which can be a difficult and invasive weed, has been a part of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem for over 100 years and is slowly being adopted by the native animals as a food source.
Sometimes the flowering spikes will be infected with a fungus that turns the seed heads jet black with spores. The fungus is a type of smut similar to corn smut fungus.
Poaceae -- Grass Family
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