File Size: 83 KB
Calamovilfa longifolia   (Hook. ) Scribn.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: 1.5-6 feet
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Culms: Erect, usually solitary, stout, solid or hollow near base, glabrous, waxy.
Blades: Flat near base but rolling inward near thead-like tip, 4 to 24 inches long, 1/6 to 1/3 inch wide near base, slightly rough.
Sheaths: Open, crowded, overlapping, mostly glabrous but often hairy on margins at collar; no auricles.
Ligules: Short, dense fringe of hairs.
Inflorescences: Panicle, mostly narrow to loosely spreading, 4 to 16 inches long; branches slender, erect or ascending, smooth; lower branches 4 to 5 inches long.
Spikelets: Flattened, about 1/4 inch long, 1-flowered, crowded; glumes unequal, 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, 1-nerved, rigid, papery; tips pointed; lemmas 1-nerved, glabrous, conspicuous tuft of long hairs at base; awns absent.
Habitat: Sandy habitats; sandhills, sand prairies, loose sandy slopes.
Distribution: Primarily north 1/2 of Kansas.
Forage Value: Though coarse and not particularly palatable, livestock will consume the early growth. It will disappear under heavy grazing.
Uses: The Lakota wore the inflorescence on their heads as a war charm instead of feathers and used it to clean their pipes.
Comments: Prairie sandreed spreads quickly via rhizomes and seed, making it an excellent sandbinding grass. It is sometimes used to stabilize blowout areas.

Prairie sandreed
152 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Prairie sandreed inflorescence
106 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Prairie sandreed spikelets
75 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Prairie sandreed blades
155 KB
Riley County, Kansas
Prairie sandreed ligule
54 KB
Riley County, Kansas