An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

MEDITERRANEANGRASS

Illustration

GRASS FAMILY-Gramineae

MEDITERRANEANGRASS-Schismus barbatus (L.) Thell.

DESCRIPTION-A low tufted annual, erect, spreading, or often forming large prostrate mats on the ground, reproducing by seeds only. There are many weak stems 2 to 14 inches in length, with very narrow leaf blades, 1/12 inch or less broad, and 4 inches or less long. The flowering part is a small cluster of short purplish branches grouped close together on the upper part of the stem, 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long. The spikelets, often purple tinged, are l/4 to 3/8 inch long, with 2 long outer bracts (glumes) 3/4 to as long as the rest of the spikelet. The shiny translucent grain is oval to eggshaped, and only about 1/25 inch long.

DISTRIBUTION-Introduced from the Mediterranean region, this grass has spread rapidly, and is now very common in vacant lots, city streets and roadsides, irrigated pastures and cultivated fields, also on dry slopes, desert mesas, river bottoms or plains in southern Arizona; 100 to 3,700 feet elevation; flowering January to May. Locally abundant on some southwestern ranges in the state, it assumes some importance as a spring forage plant, although it is a relatively recent arrival.

ARABIANGRASS-Schismus arabicus Nees.

DESCRIPTION-This rapidly spreading grass, introduced from Asia or Africa, looks exactly like Mediterraneangrass. It differs in that the flowering bracts of the spikelets are more deeply notched at the tip, and are long hairy on the back. The 2 weeds apparently intergrade freely, and cannot always be clearly differentiated. Arabiangrass is rapidly appearing throughout the Mediterraneangrass range, and is very common in some localities.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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