Plant Image
Herbarium specimen
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Bouteloua chondrosioides - sprucetop grama

Synonyms: Chondrosum humboldtianum, Dinebra chondrosioides

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Herbarium specimen

ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium
Usage Rights: CC BY-NC (Attribution-Non-Commercial)
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Max Licher @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Dry rocky slopes and rolling desert grasslands.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 2500 - 6000 feet

Similar Species: Bouteloua eludens

General Description

Desc: Tufted grass with unique purplish tinged seedheads along opposite sides of stem.
Identification notes: Perennial, 1 to 2 feet tall; stems firm, hard at the base; leaf sheaths rounded, not conspicuously flattened; 3 to 10 one-sided hairy spikes per plant; densely hairy seedhead stem; spikelets set closely like the teeth of a comb; 2nd glume is hairy.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - comblike branches  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Aug - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: 1/4 inch to 1 inch   Three Awns: Y  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Panicle of spike-like branches. Panicle is 3/4 to 2-1/2 inches long, spike-like branches are < 3/4 inch long, 3 to 8 in number, 8 to 12 spikelets per branch. Glumes unequal and 1 nerved, lemmas 3 nerved. Spikelets are hairy.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Blades to 4 inches long, 1/16 inch (or less) wide, flat, covered with a powdery or waxy bloom, bases with nipple-like based hairs on the margins, similar hairs sometimes present on either or both surfaces.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths mostly smooth, edges often with long-hairs; ligules of hair less than 1/16 inch, of hairs.

Forage Value: Good, highly palatable to all classes of livestock.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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