An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

LITTLESEED CANARYGRASS

Illustration

GRASS FAMILY-Gramineae

LITTLESEED CANARYGRASS-Phalaris minor Retz.

DESCRIPTION-An erect bluish green annual with weak stems slightly bent at the base and branching, 1 to 2 (or more) feet high, reproducing only by seeds. The leaves are flat or folded, 1/8 to 3/8 inch broad. The flowering part is one short, thick, oblong-eggshaped spikelike head at the top of each stem, 3/4 to 2 inches long. The spikelets are densely crowded and overlapping on the heads. The 2 broad outer bracts (glumes) are sharp pointed, noticeably flattened, and sharply folded, the upper half of the fold forming a narrow papery wing. They are 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, pale with a darker green stripe on each side at the base of the wing. The shiny straw colored grain is hairy, eggshaped, narrow and pointed at the tip, and about 1/8 inch long.

DISTRIBUTION-A native of the Mediterranean, littleseed canarygrass is a weed in moist soil in the margin of cultivated fields, irrigation ditches, reservoirs, bottom-lands, and roadsides in southern and central Arizona; 150 to 3,500 feet elevation; flowering mostly in April and May, or in March.

CAROLINA CANARYGRASS-Phalaris caroliniana Walt.

DESCRIPTION-Plants of Carolina canarygrass cannot be distinguished from littleseed canarygrass unless the flowers are examined. The flowering head is oblong, may be 3 inches long in this grass, and the green stripes on the outer bracts are not conspicuous. The best character is in the grain, but requires the aid of a lens. At the base of the grain on one side there is tiny scale in littleseed canarygrass, whereas there are 2 scales, 1 on each side and more conspicuous in Carolina canarygrass. The grains are also longer, slightly more than 1/8 inch (4 mm.) long.

DISTRIBUTION-Although more widely distributed throughout central and southern Arizona, and very common in the same type of places as littleseed canary-grass, it apparently is not so concentrated in the agricultural fields, and thus not as troublesome; 150 to 6,000 feet elevation; flowering mostly in April and May, but sometimes February to August.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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