Plant Image
Plant - fall
Courthouse Rock, Sedona
Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Heteropogon contortus - tanglehead

Synonyms: Andropogon contortus

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant image
Plant - fall

Courthouse Rock, Sedona Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Plant image
Plant - summer

Courthouse Rock, Sedona Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Plant image

Courthouse Rock, Sedona Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Plant image

Courthouse Rock, Sedona Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Plant image

Courthouse Rock, Sedona Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Sandy hills and in rocky canyons. Considered a weed, being able to establish itself in newly disturbed and poor soils.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 5500 feet

General Description

Desc: Tall perennial usually branching well above the base, often a few long hairs at the leaf collar. Unique seedhead with long wiry twisted, tangled and bent awns.
Identification notes: A coarse, perennial bunchgrass; bright green, curing to a distinctive orange-brown. Blades broad creased down the middle, and clasping the flattened stem at the base. Seedheads spikelike; firm rounded glumes. Seeds sharp pointed with a long, coarse awn.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 24 to 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Sep

Flower Characteristics

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

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead stems brown to reddish-brown with 12 to 22 brown to reddish brown sessile and stemmed spikelet pairs. Spikelets have awnless staminate and awned pistillate spikelets. Awns are 2 to 5 inches long, bent and flexuous and frequently tangled.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Blades flat 2 to 8 inches long 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide, midvein prominent, usually hairy on margins and rough.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous and hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Leaf sheaths flattened and keeled, often with a few long hairs at the collar. Ligules are membranaceous, brown, and fringed with white hairs.

Forage Value: Fair to good for cattle and horses before maturity. A valuable forage grass if continuously grazed so as to prevent the hardened tissue from developing.

  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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