Plant Image
Plant - summer
Page, AZ
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Achnatherum hymenoides - Indian ricegrass

Synonyms: Eriocoma cuspidata, Oryzopsis hymenoides, Stipa hymenoides

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

line decor
Home Plant Communities Plant List Search Forbs Search Grasses Search Woody Plants, Succulents, Cacti Additional Resources About this Website
line decor

  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Open, sandy plains and hills, often in juniper woodlands.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3500 - 6500 feet

General Description

Desc: A leafy perennial bunchgrass 1 to 2 feet tall. When mature, the seedhead is very spreading and delicate looking. The branches extending outward kinked.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Leaf Arrangement: Leaves basal and erect  Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 24 to 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Aug

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelet Arrangement: End of branches
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: Y

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedheads are very open and widely spreading, 9–20 cm long, 8–14 cm wide and have several branches which split into 2 branches. The lemmas are round, black, and covered with short white hairs, awns stout and 3-6 mm long, slightly twisted.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Convolute  
Blade Notes: Firm, narrow, rolled longitudinally, 0.1–1 mm in diameter 2-12 inches long, bottom surfaces smooth or roughened with stout projections, top surfaces clothed with soft hairs or down.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths smooth or slightly roughened with stout projections, hairs to 0.8 mm; collars smooth, sometimes with tufts of hair on the sides, hairs to 1 mm. Ligules 1.5–4 mm, membranous, colorless and translucent, smooth without hairs, sharp pointed.

Forage Value: Very good. Indian ricegrass is highly palatable to livestock and wildlife. It is a preferred feed for cattle, horses and elk in all seasons, sheep, deer and antelope in spring and sheep, deer, and antelope in late fall and winter.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
Legal Disclaimer