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Fluff Grass

Dasyochloa pulchella
(Erioneuron pulchellum)

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Photographed near Saddle Mountain, Tonopah, Maricopa Co., Arizona. Aug. 29, 2004

This small desert plant demonstrates a number of adaptations to hot and dry conditions: It grows low to the ground where a boundary layer offers lower wind speeds and thus reduced evapotranspiration; spent inflorescences (spikes) are spinescent and crowd around the base protecting the whole plant from herbivores; copious fluff reflects the most intense sun rays; the very narrow leaves dissipate heat well; and the tough stolons can remain dormant for many months ready to produce new growth whenever conditions warrant.

Poaceae -- Grass Family

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