Plant Image
Herbarium specimen
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Schizachyrium cirratum - Texas bluestem

Synonyms: Andropogon cirratus

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Herbarium specimen

ASU Vascular Plant Herbarium
Usage Rights: CC BY-NC (Attribution-Non-Commercial)
Plant image

Max Licher @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Steep rocky canyon slopes, oak woodlands, forest openings.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 2000 - 7500 feet

General Description

Desc: Tufted or shortly rhizomatous perennial grass, 12 to 30 inches tall. Smooth waxy stems often reclining on the ground with the tips ascending but not rooting or branching at the lower nodes, reddish to sometimes purplish in color.
Identification notes: Perennial, up to 3 feet; blades 7 inches long, flat or folded; ligule 1/16 inch membrane; seedhead a spike of paired spikelets, subtended by a leaf; first spikelet sessile, 2-flowered with a 1 inch once bent awn; second spikelet stemmed, male, awnless.
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: Unbranched  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Aug - Oct

Flower Characteristics

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

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is a single stalk projecting from the uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets are in pairs of one sessile (no stalk) and fertile and one pediceled (stalked) and sterile. Spikelets are equal in length.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Blades are 2-1/2 to 6-1/2 inches long and threadlike. Blades are flat or folded inward(involute). Leaf blades are smooth and covered with a waxy blue-green or gray coating.
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 are smooth, round and open. Ligule is an unfringed membrane.

Forage Value: An excellent forage grass.

  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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