Plant Image
Herbarium specimen
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Bouteloua rothrockii - Rothrock's grama

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Dry rocky hillsides, sandy mesas and desert grasslands.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 2300 - 5500 feet

Similar Species: Bouteloua barbata, Bouteloua simplex

General Description

Desc: Mostly erect grass with short leaves and seedheads with 4 comb-like branches.
Identification notes: Annual-like. Like other Bouteloua it has short 1-sided spikes; greater than 40 spikelets per spike distinguish it from B. barbata and more than 2 spikes per seedhead from B. simplex. Spikes and glumes are persistent.
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: Jul - Sep

Flower Characteristics

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

Flower and Seedhead Notes: 2 to 4 spikes are 3/4 to 1-1/8 inches long. Fertile lemma hairy at base, deeply cleft, awns < 1/16 inch long. Rudiment densely hairy, cleft nearly to the base, awns longer than those of the fertile lemma. Often there is an awnless rudimentary spikelet.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Involute  
Blade Notes: Blades 1/4 to 4 inches long, < 1/16 inch wide; top surfaces usually sparsely covered with fuzz with a few nipple-like based hairs basally.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths usually smooth, except for tufts of long hairs on either side of the collars; ligules < 1/16 inch, membranous, with hairs.

Forage Value: Good, not as high in palatability as blue grama, but an important range grass in southern Arizona.

  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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