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Plant - fall
Oak Creek, N. of Sedona
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Aristida ternipes - spidergrass

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Plant - summer
Verde Valley
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Plant - fall
Oak Creek, S. of Sedona
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Seedhead - summer
Oak Creek, S. of Sedona
Plant image
Seedhead - fall
Oak Creek, S. of Sedona
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Rocky or sandy slopes and plateaus, often along roadsides and other disturbed areas.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 6000 feet

General Description

Desc: Two possible varieties, var. ternipes, var. gentilis which vary in awn length, gentilis , lateral awns 2-23 mm long, var. ternipes, lateral awns 0-2 mm long
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Leaf Arrangement: Leaves basal and along stems  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: Aug - Oct

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelet Arrangement: Scattered on branches
Awns: 1/4 inch to 1 inch   Three Awns: Y  Awns Bent: Y

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the flower stem, branches few, mostly naked at ends of branches. Awn not or only slightly twisted. Central awns 8-25 mm, straight to curving; lateral awns absent or to 23 mm long.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: Y  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat or folded  
Blade Notes: Blades 2-16 inches long, 1-2.5 mm wide, flat to folded, straight to lax at maturity, below surfaces with scattered, 1.5-3 mm hairs near the ligule.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths usually longer than the internodes, smooth without hairs; collars smooth without hairs or rough with short stiff hairs or bristles; ligules less than 0.5 mm.

Forage Value: Fair to poor. It greens up after the spring rains more rapidly than most grasses and is used most heavily at this time. It is grazed. rather lightly after other, more palatable grasses begin to grow.

  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  
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