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Plant - fall
Rimrock Verde Valley
John Kava
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Sporobolus cryptandrus - sand dropseed

Synonyms: Agrostis cryptandra,

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant - summer

Rimrock Verde Valley Sue Smith
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Plant - summer

Rimrock Verde Valley Sue Smith
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Rimrock Verde Valley Sue Smith
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Tufts of hair at top of sheath

Rimrock Verde Valley Sue Smith
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley John Kava
Plant image

Rimrock Verde Valley Sue Smith
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Found on sandy soils of dry plains, slopes, and washes, rocky slopes and limestone ridges, in desert scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands, pine forests and desert grasslands.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 200 - 7000 feet

Similar Species: Sporabolus contractus, S. flexuosus

General Description

Desc: Erect, tufted perennial grass with round, unbranched stem, 2 to 4 feet tall, depending upon precipitation. Main characteristic is the conspicuous tuft of long white hairs at the leaf collar.
Identification notes: Tufted erect perennial, stems sometimes bent at base. Collar and ligule hairy. Sheath often hairy on the margins. Seedhead partially included in sheath, initially contracted, open at maturity, pyramidal, densely flowered. Spikelets one flowered, unawned.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Oct

Flower Characteristics

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

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead 6 to 20 inches long and 1/2 to 4-1/2 inches wide, partially or totally enclosed on one side by the upper sheath. Upper branches are spikelet bearing to the bases.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or folded  
Blade Notes: Blades often at near right angle to stem. 3 to 10 inches long, 1/4 inch wide, flat or folded. May be rolled inward when dry.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous and hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths rounded below, smooth or rough, margins sometimes fringed with hairs. The ligule has a conspicuous tuft of long white hair.

Forage Value: Fair to good for livestock and poor for wildlife while actively growing, declines rapidly with maturity.

  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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