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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Piptatheropsis micrantha - littleseed ricegrass

Synonyms: Oryzopsis micrantha, Piptatherum micranthum, Stipa divaricata

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Open woodlands, rocky slopes, and creek banks.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Riparian
Elevation: 2000 - 7000 feet

General Description

Desc: Loosely tufted and erect bunchgrass.
Identification notes: Loosely tufted; blades less than 1/16 inch wide, rough, mostly basal; ligules truncate 1/16 inch long; spikelets less than 1/8 inch long; lemmas hairless; seedheads densely tufted, open at maturity; small, dorsally compressed florets; appressed pedicels.
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 - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Aug

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: Y

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedheads 2 to 8 inches, lower nodes with 1 to 3 branches. Florets 1/16 inch, dorsally compressed; lemmas usually hairless, sometimes having short hairs; shiny, 5-veined, margins not overlapping; awns 1/4 to 1/2 inch, weakly bent and deciduous.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Blades 2 to 6 inches long, 1/16 inch wide, usually rolled inward (involute).
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 hairless; ligules 1/16 inch; squared off.

Forage Value: Highly palatable to cattle and horses; moderately palatable to sheep, elk and deer.

  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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