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Sonoran Desert Grasses

Many, many species. Just a few shown for now ...

Sixweek Threeawn

Aristida adscensionis

Fluff Grass

Erioneuron pulchellum

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass of spring (sometimes fall) with three purplish awns per spikelet. Rocky slopes in Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Perennial bunch grass normally less than 10 cm tall. Spiny around base. Common. Blooming in spring and then again after summer rains begin. Detailed Description

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Six-Weeks Fescue

Vulpia octoflora

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass of spring with up to 8 florets per spiklet and short awns from each floret. Sandy or gravel soils in Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Arabian Schismus

Schismus arabicus

Mediterranean Grass

Schismus barbatus

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass of spring growing mostly as a weed near agricultural concerns. Introduced. Requires magnification to distinguish from more common Mediterranean Grass. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual spring grass - common to abundant on vacant urban lots, roadsides, rocky slopes and desert flats through much of the Sonoran Desert. An invasive exotic weed from Eurasia that contributes to fire hazards when it dries out after spring. Detailed Description

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Needle Grama

Bouteloua aristidoides

Red Grama

Bouteloua trifida

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass appearing in late spring or after summer rains begin. Narrow spikelets arranged along one side of rachis. Common across the Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Small perennial grass of rocky slopes that is normally obscure. Spiklets are purplish-red. Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Curly-mesquite

Hilaria belangeri

Red Brome Grass

Bromus rubens

Photo by Mike Plagens

Low growing perennial summer grass found at upper elevations of Sonoran Desert in transition to grassland and open mesquite woodland. Narrow spike inflorescence. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Invasive, weedy, annual grass of spring growing abundantly on rocky bajadas and along roads and wash banks. Long, conspicuous, reddish awns. Detailed Description

Bermuda Grass

Cynodon dactylon

Red Sprangletop

Leptochloa panicea brachiata
(Leptochloa filiformis)

Photo by Mike Plagens

Perennial grass cultivated in lawns but also abundant and weedy along desert washes and into gardens and at roadsides. Umbel-like branched inflorescence. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass in drying washes after flood. Spikelets w/o awns and 2-4 florets per spike. Sometime reddish or purple color. Detailed Description

Sonoran Desert Grasses, Page 2 -- >>


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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010