Muhlenbergia microsperma
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Anthony Mendoza @
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Muhlenbergia microsperma - littleseed muhly

Synonyms: Muhlenbergia debilis

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Anthony Mendoza @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Cool
Habitat Description: Grows on sandy slopes and drainages, cliffs, rock outcrops, and disturbed roadsides.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 5000 feet

General Description

Desc: Soft and delicate annual grass with weak erect or spreading stems 4 to 27 inches long, much-branched at lower nodes, often purplish, often growing through other plants.
Identification notes: Annual with freely ascending or spreading branches; blades flat to involute; glumes blunt, 1-nerved, exceeded by florets; seedhead narrow, 5 to 20 cm long; self-pollinating spikelets in axils of lower blades; lemmas awned, awns up to 1 inch long.
Grass Type: Annual  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: Feb - May

Flower Characteristics

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

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedheads are up to 5-1/2 inches long, not dense, often purplish. Branches are ascending or diverging up to 80° from the axis and are spikelet-bearing to the base. Spikelets are borne singly on short stalks.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Blades are rough, 1 to 4 inches long, 1/8 inch wide, flat or loosely involute, and covered with short stiff appressed hairs.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Internodes are smooth, but are always rough just below the nodes. Sheaths are often shorter than the internodes and may be smooth or hairy. Tiny ligules are membranous.

Forage Value: Fair to good.

  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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