An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

RABBITFOOTGRASS

Illustration

GRASS FAMILY-Gramineae

RABBITFOOTGRASS-Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Dest.

DESCRIPTION-A yellowish green annual, ]/3 to 2 feet high, with the stems often sharply bent and spreading at the lower joints, reproducing only by seeds. The flowering part is a soft silky spike, l to 4 (sometimes 6) inches long, with delicate glistening, yellowish or tawny bristles. The flowering top is so dense it appears to be unbranched, but the innumerable tiny spikelets, about 1/12 inch long, are actually crowded on little short branches.

The 2 outer bracts in each spikelet end in a slender bristle about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. These give the flower head its bristly appearance. The plump grain is amber colored, about 1/12 inch long.

DISTRIBUTION-A European weed, rabbitfootgrass is found in moist soil throughout most of the state in irrigated areas, cultivated fields, pastures, and ditches. It also occurs in river bottoms, swales, along roadsides, streams, and in mountain canyons; 100 to 8,200 feet elevation; flowering March to October.

DITCH POLYPOGON-Polypogon interruptus H.B.K.

DESCRIPTION-A tufted perennial, but very similar to rabbitfootgrass, and some- times hard to distinguish. The flowering part is more spreading, with the branches obvious. It is much less spikelike in appearance. The bristles are shorter, about 1/8 inch long.

Ditch polypogon, also introduced from Europe, is found in the same habitats as rabbitfootgrass, but is not as common; 150 to 7,500 feet elevation; flowering May to October.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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