Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Weeping Alkali Grass
Puccinellia distans (L.) Parlat.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: Of the genera which have several-flowered spikelets Puccinellia usually differs by having lemmas rounded and not keeled on the back and usually 5 obscure, parallel nerves on the lemmas. From other species of Puccinellia, P
- Habitat: Moist habitats, nearly all in alkaline soils.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Spreading at first, becoming upright, unbranched. hollow, up to 4 feet tall, without hairs but sometimes somewhat rough to the touch.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat but becoming inrolled, up to 1/6 inch wide, smooth or slightly rough to the touch; ligules very short, rounded at the tip.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, the spikelets arranged in open panicles, with some of the branches pointing downward, the panicles up to 6 inches long; spikelets 2- to 6-flowered, up
to 1/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Grains: Oblongoid, smooth.
- Notes: This native grass of Europe has become widespread over much of the United States. It is widely used as a forage plant for domesticated animals.
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