Plants annual. Culms 20-60 cm, wiry. Leaves cauline; sheaths usually shorter than the internodes, mostly glabrous, sparsely hairy near the summit; collars hispidulous, occasionally glabrous; ligules 0.2-0.5 mm; blades 3-22 cm long, to 2 mm wide, flat to involute, glabrous abaxially, sparsely pilose adaxially, without a prominent midrib but with a thickened vein near each margin, pale to gray-green, sometimes slightly glaucous. Inflorescences paniculate or racemose, 5-12 cm long, 2-4 cm wide; primary branches barely developed. Spikelets appressed to slightly divergent from the axillary pulvini. Glumes subequal, apices bifid, awned from the sinuses; lower glumes (9)11-16 mm, 3-7-veined, awns 0.5-2(4) mm; upper glumes 11-18 mm, 1-3-veined, awns 3-7 mm; calluses 0.4-1 mm; lemmas (8)15-20(22) mm, dark, occasionally banded or spotted, apices narrowed but not beaklike; central awns 12-25 mm, bases with a semicircular bend; lateral awns 1-4 mm, erect, occasionally lacking; anthers 3, about 3 mm, brown. Caryopses 9-11 mm, dark brown to black. 2n = unknown.
Aristida ramosissima grows in open, dry, sterile ground, fallow fields, and roadsides. It is restricted to the United States.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This is an infrequent grass of the southwestern counties in hard, white clay soil in abandoned and fallow fields, on washed slopes, along clayey roadsides, and infrequently in yellow clay soil.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = 5
Wetland Indicator Status: n/a
Annual 2-5 dm; culms very slender, erect, branched from the base and all nodes; lvs very narrow, flat or involute; panicle lax, raceme-like, 5-10 cm, the spikelets solitary or rarely paired; racemes of the branches usually smaller; glumes unequal, the first 3-5-veined, 10-21 (avg 14) mm, the second 15-28 (avg 20) mm; lemma 11-21 mm, tapering gradually into the awn; central awn stout, 1.7-3.7 cm, bent at the base into a quarter to a full turn; lateral awns erect, 0.5-6 mm, rarely absent. Dry soil; s. Ind. to Io., s. to Tenn. and Tex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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