Plants annual or short-lived perennials; tufted, sometimes stoloniferous. Culms 20-60 cm, erect or somewhat geniculate at the base. Leaves mostly basal; sheaths pubescent, usually with tufts of long hairs on either side of the collar; ligules 0.1-0.5 mm, of hairs; blades 1-3 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, margins and usually both surfaces with papillose-based hairs. Panicles 2.5-10 cm, with 4-8 branches; branches 20-35 mm, persistent, with papillose-based hairs, with 40-65 spikelets, branches terminating in a spikelet; disarticulation above the glumes. Spikelets pectinate, with 1 bisexual floret and 2 rudimentary florets. Glumes unequal; lower glumes about 2 mm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent at the base, mucronate; upper glumes 3-4 mm, keels with papillose-based hairs, apices bilobed, awned from between the teeth, awns to 0.7 mm; lowest lemmas 3-4 mm, pilose or villous proximally, 3-awned, awns 2-3 mm, central awns flanked by 2 membranous lobes; lowest paleas about 2.5 mm, 4-lobed, 2-awned; anthers 1.8-2 mm, yellow; rachilla internodes subtending second florets with densely pubescent apices; second florets lobed nearly to the base, lobes ovate, awns 2-4 mm, exceeding those of the lowest lemmas, third florets minute scales, glabrous, unawned or with a single awn. Caryopses 1.3-1.5 mm. 2n = 20.
Bouteloua parryi grows on sandy slopes and flats at elevations from near sea level to 2000 m. Its range extends from the southwestern United States to central Mexico. Plants in the Flora region belong to B. parryi (E. Fourn.) Griffiths var. parryi, which differs from B. parryi var. gentryi (Gould) Gould in comprising tufted annuals rather than stoloniferous perennials. Bouteloua parryi var. parryi resembles var. rothrockii, but differs in the papillose-based hairs on the keels of its upper glumes.
FNA 2003, Gould 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: Parry's grama Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Annual or stoloniferous short lived perennial, tufted, sometimes stoloniferous, erect or somewhat geniculate from the base stems 20-60 cm tall. Vegetative: Leaves mostly basal, pubescent sheaths with tufts of hairs on either side of the collar, ligules 0.1-0.5 mm, of hairs; blades 1-3 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, margins and both surfaces with papillose-based hairs. Inflorescence: Panicles 2.5-10 cm, with 4-8 branches 20-35 mm long, persistent, bearing 40-65 spikelets, often with a spikelet at or near the tip; disarticulation above the glumes with spikelets of 1 bisexual floret and 2 rudimentary florets; unequal glumes, lower about 2 mm, glabrous or sparsely pubescent at base, mucronate; upper 3-4 mm, keels with papillose-based hairs, apices bilobed, awned from between teeth, awns less than 1 mm; lowest lemmas 3-4 mm, pilose or villous proximally, 3-awned with awns 2-3 mm, central awn flanked by 2 membranous lobes. Ecology: Found on sandy slopes and flats below 6,500 ft (1981 m); flowers August-October. Notes: There is one variety in Arizona: var. parryi which is a tufted annual. This variety resembles B. rothrockii but differs in the papillose-based hairs on the keels of its upper glumes. (FNA) Another characteristic is to pay attention to the bluish-purple color of the inflorescence and the bright orange anthers. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus had many uses. Etymology: Bouteloua named for brothers Claudio (1774-1842) and Esteban (1776-1813) Boutelou Agraz, Spanish botanists and horticulturalists; parryi is named for Dr. Charles Christopher Parry (1823-1890) an American botanist who worked on the Pacific Railroad Survey. Synonyms: Chondrosum parryi Editor: SBuckley, 2010
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