HAIRY GRAMA
File Size: 80 KB
 
Bouteloua hirsuta  
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 6 to 28 inches
Family: Poaceae - Grass Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August
Culms: Erect to somewhat bent below, solid, glabrous, leafy at bases.
Blades: Numerous, flat, slender, 1 to 7 inches long, less than 1/10 inch wide, erect or ascending, rough or glabrous; lower margins with hairs arising from tiny bumps.
Sheaths: Glabrous or finely hairy, bearing long soft hairs near ligule.
Ligules: Short fringes of hairs.
Inflorescences: Panicles; branches 1 to 4, .5 1.5 inches long, occasionally curved; rachis extending conspicuously beyond spikelets in obvious point.
Spikelets: 18-50 per branch, .25 inch long, crowded in 2 rows; florets 1 perfect, 2 sterile; glumes unequal, tipped with blackish awns, second glume hairy; fertile lemma deeply 3-cleft, hairy, 3 short awns, central awn longest.
Habitat: Prairies or pastures, on dry, shallow, sandy or rocky sites.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas
Forage Value: Hairy grama is nutritious for livestock and has high palatability late in the growing season.
Comments: Hairy grama grows in tufts but does not occur in large stands.
 Hairy grama can be distinguished from blue grama by the needle-like rachis that projects beyond the spikelet-bearing portion of the branch.

Hairy grama inflorescence
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Hairy grama spikelets
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Hairy grama
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Hairy grama
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Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Hairy grama
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Hairy grama
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Hairy grama
48 KB
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Hairy grama
52 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas
Hairy grama
172 KB
Konza Prairie, Riley County, Kansas