INLAND SALTGRASS
File Size: 77 KB
 
Distichlis spicata   (L. ) Greene
Lincoln County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 4-16 inches
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August, September
Also Called: Alkali grass, desert saltgrass.
Culms: Erect or decumbent at base, sometimes parallel to soil surface, coarse, solid to hollow, glabrous. Inland saltgrass is dioecious (male and female flowers occur on separate plants); pistillate plants usually shorter than staminate.
Blades: Numerous, prominently 2-ranked, stiffly ascending, flat or rolled inward from edges, rigid, 2 to 7 inches long, 1/10 to 1/6 inch wide, smooth below, rough to hairy above; tips tapering to points.
Sheaths: Overlapping, open, glabrous but sometimes with few long hairs at throat.
Ligules: Short fringed membrane.
Inflorescences: Panicle, contracted; panicle of pistillate plants 1 to 2.5 inches long; panicle of staminate plants looser, 1 to 4 inches long; spikelets on short stalks.
Spikelets: Spikelets flattened, 1/3 to 1 inch long, 5-17-flowered, awnless; pistillate spikelets somewhat less flattened; glumes unequal, narrow, firm, glabrous, tips sharp-pointed; lemmas closely overlapping, tips sharp-pointed; lemmas and glumes initially membrane-like with green markings, later straw-colored.
Habitat: Low prairies, along roads, and near creeks and lakes; usually on moist alkaline or saline soils.
Distribution: Principally in the west 3/4 of Kansas.
Reproduction: Reproduces primarily via rhizomes.
Forage Value: Inland saltgrass has only fair forage value.
Uses: The seeds are consumed by small mammals and waterfowl.
Comments: This mat-forming grass will tolerate high soil salinity. Inland saltgrass is resistant to trampling. It is an agressive increaser.

Inland saltgrass
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Inland saltgrass pistillate inflorescence
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Inland saltgrass
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Inland saltgrass
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Inland saltgrass blades
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