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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Melica porteri - Porter's melicgrass

Synonyms: Melica parviflora

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Patrick Alexander @
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Patrick Alexander @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Moist open woods, canyons and rocky slopes.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian
Elevation: 3500 - 8000 feet

General Description

Desc: Grows 18 to 40 inches tall, in small tufts with short rhizomes.
Identification notes: Moderately tall perennial with closed sheaths; flat blades and narrow; open branched seedheads; spikelet central stem exceeds the florets; spikelets have 1 to 7 bisexual and 2 to 3 sterile florets. Variety laxa is found in Coconino County.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  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: Jul - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: Y
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead branches appressed or moderately spreading.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Blades are 1/16 to 1/4 inch wide, both surfaces smooth to slightly rough.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths closed and mostly smooth, but can be rough on the keel.

Forage Value: Not available.

  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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