Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Deschampsia cespitosa (L.) Beauv.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering July-September
- Field Marks: Species of Deschampsia have narrow leaves clustered at the base of the plant and delicately awned lemmas. Deschampsia cespitosa differs from other species in the genus by its perennial habit, its open panicles, and its
- Habitat: Wet meadows, wet prairies, ditches, along streams, around lakes, particularly at high elevations.
- Habit: Densely tufted perennial with short rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, smooth, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, very narrow, mostly crowded near the base of the plant, flat or folded or even sometimes rolled up, 1/16-1/8 inch wide, rough to the touch.
- Flowers: Usually 2 per spikelet, with many spikelets arranged in loose, often nodding
panicles with thread-like branches, the panicle up to 8 inches long; spikelets usually purplish,
shiny; lemmas with a slender awn up to 1/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Smooth.
- Notes: This species provides cover for quail and other birds.
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