An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

FEATHER FINGERGRASS

Illustration

GRASS FAMILY-Gramineae

FEATHER FINGERGRASS-Chloris virgata Swartz.

DESCRIPTION-Feather fingergrass is a weak, slender, erect or spreading annual, 1/2 to over 3 feet high, with a shallow root system, and reproduces by seeds. The leaf blades are weak, 3/4 to 3 inches long, with the upper leaf bases enlarged, and enclosing the flowering part until it opens. The flowering part consists of 2 to 10 tawny, narrowly featherlike soft flowering spikes, 3/4 to 3 1/2 inches long, arising together at the stem tips. Each spikelet has a tuft of long soft hairs at the top, and very slender bristles 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. The little spikelets are crowded, and arranged in 2 rows along one side of the spike stem.

DISTRIBUTION-This South American weed is very common on bare disturbed soil throughout Arizona in waste places, roadsides, desert washes, and swales, up to 5,500 feet elevation; flowering April to November. It has spread rapidly to the irrigated fields, and is now abundant in cultivated crops in many areas.

TUMBLE WINDMILLGRASS-Chloris verticillata Nutt.

DESCRIPTION-Closely related to feather fingergrass, but a low perennial. The flowering spikes are longer (3 to 6 inches long), stiff, and outward spreading. They arise from 3 or more levels near the top of the stem, and are not feathery. This Texan weed has become established in the Yuma mesa in the citrus orchards.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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