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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

24. Polypogon Desf.

1. Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf. -- Rabbitfoot beardgrass


Tufted annual 1-5(8) dm tall; culms erect or decumbent at the base. Leaves flat, 3-7 mm wide, scaberulous; sheaths glabrous, the ligule membranous, elongate, 2-7 mm long. Panicle ovoid-cylindric to cylindric, rather dense and spikelike, (1)3-8(15) cm long. Spikelets 1-flowered, 2 mm long (excluding awns of the glumes), tawny at maturity, disarticulating below the glumes; glumes equal, awned from the 2-lobed apex, hispidulous, 1-nerved, the awn 4-8 mm long; lemma much smaller than the glumes, 0.7-1 mm long, scarious, translucent and shiny, 1-nerved, erose at the apex, with a fragile awn about as long as or longer than the lemma body; palea about as long as the lemma and of the same texture. Grain golden-brown, ellipsoid, slightly smaller than the lemma, often retained inside the lemma and palea when shed. Jul--Sep. Wet sand or mud of stream banks, shores and around springs; occasional mainly in the w and s parts of our region; (Intro. from Europe, ranging from N.B. to AK, s to GA, OK, TX and CA; also C. and S.Amer.).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Polypogon monspeliensis (from Hitchcock 1950).  

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