Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
63. Poaceae, the Grass Family
25. Puccinellia Parl. -- Alkaligrass
1. Puccinellia cusickii Weatherby -- Cusick's alkaligrass
Culms 3-9 dm tall; leaves flat or more commonly involute, 1.5-4
mm wide, glabrous; ligule scarious, rounded to subacute, 1.5-3 mm long.
Panicle oblong to pyramidal, 7-30 cm long, the branches ascending to
spreading, the lower ones sometimes reflexed. Spikelets 3- to 7-flowered,
purplish or green, turning purplish-brown with age, 3-7(9) mm long; glumes
acute to obtuse, often erose, the first 0.5-1.8 mm long, the second (1)1.5-2.5
mm long; lemmas narrowed to an acute or obtuse tip, usually erose, 2-3.2
mm long; anthers 1.2-1.8 mm long. Jun--Jul. Wet saline or alkaline meadows,
shores, stream banks, ditches, flats and seepage areas; frequent in c and w
ND, e MT and nw SD; (Man. to Alta., s to SD, WY, ID and e OR).
This species has been considered a large-anthered phase of P. nuttalliana
by some authors.
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Next Section -- Puccinellia distans (L.) Parl.
-- Weeping alkaligrass