Plant Image
Max Licher @http://swbiodiversity.org
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Sporobolus flexuosus - mesa dropseed

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

line decor
  Home   Plant Communities Plant List Search Forbs and Subshrubs Search Grasses Search Woody Plants Additional Resources About this Website
line decor

Click on Any Image for a Larger View

Plant image

Intermountain Herbarium
Intermountain Herbarium (Utah State University)
Plant image

Patrick Alexander @http://swbiodiversity.org
Plant image

Patrick Alexander @http://swbiodiversity.org
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Dry sandy and gravelly slopes, flats, and roadsides. Associated with desert scrub, pinyon-juniper and pine forests.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 2000 - 7000 feet

Similar Species: Sporobolus cryptandrus, S. contractus

General Description

Desc: Perennial bunchgrass, 1 to 3 feet tall, usually grows in rather small clumps. Stems are erect or trailing. It is a perennial grass but it is short-lived and is sometimes an annual.
Identification notes: Perennial; seedhead branches loosely flowered, branchlets and spikelet stems spreading; sheaths hairy on margins and collar; spikelets less than 1/8 inch long. Seedheads are always wide open and more loosely flowered then S. cryptandrus .
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: Y
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: Large loosely-flowered, airy, elongate seedheads have slender branches and branchlets which spread and droop. Grayish single-seeded spikelets have unequal glumes and no awns.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or involute  
Blade Notes: Leaf blades are flat or folded, becoming V-shaped toward the long-tapered tips and are less than 1/8 inch wide and up to 8 inches long. The leaf sheaths are densely hairy at the top and often have a fringe of hair along the margins.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: The ligules are a dense ring of short hairs.

Forage Value: Browsed by wildlife and cattle during summer months with fair forage value. Mesa dropseed becomes unpalatable and low in nutrition at 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  
Legal Disclaimer