Scleropogon brevifolius Phil.
Family: Poaceae
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Frankie Coburn  

Stolons to 50 cm, wiry, internodes 5-15 cm. Culms (5)10-20 cm, erect. Ligules about 1 mm; blades 2-8(12) cm long, 1-2 mm wide. Bisexual spikelets 2-4 cm, staminate florets below the pistillate florets. Staminate spikelets 2-3 cm. Pistillate spikelets subtended by a glumelike bract; lemma bodies 2.5-3 cm. 2n = 40.

Scleropogon brevifolius grows on grassy plains and flats, generally being most abundant on disturbed or overgrazed land. Its North American range extends from the southwestern United States to central Mexico; its South American range is from Chile to northwestern Argentina.

FNA 2003, Gould 1988
Common Name: burrograss Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Stoloniferous perennial grass, sometimes weakly rhizomatous, erect or decumbent at base; stems 10-20 cm; stolons wiry, creeping, to 50 cm. Vegetative: Leaves mostly basal; sheaths short, strongly veined; ligules of hairs, 1 mm; blades firm, flat or folded, 2-12 cm long, 1-2 mm wide; basal leaves commonly hispid or villous. Inflorescence: Terminal contracted panicle or raceme with few spikelets, 2-6 cm long, excluding awns; staminate and pistillate spikelets frequently but not always on separate plants. Staminate spikelets 2-3 cm, with 5-20 florets; glumes pale, 1-3-veined; lemmas 3-veined, unawned or short-awned, awns to 3 mm. Pistillate spikelets appressed to the branch axes, usually the 3-5 lower florets functional, upper florets reduced to awns; glumes strongly 3-veined, occasionally with a few fine accessory veins; lemmas narrow, 3-veined, veins extending into awns, awns 3-15 cm, scabrous, spreading or reflexed at maturity. Disarticulation above the glumes and below the lowest pistillate floret in a spikelet, florets falling together, the lowest floret with a bearded, sharp-pointed callus. Ecology: Dry valleys and on open mesas below 5,500 ft (1676 m); flowers in the late summer and fall, also occasionally in the spring. Distribution: s CA, s NV, s UT, AZ, NM, s CO, sw TX and w OK; south to s MEX; disjunct in South America. Notes: Distinctive in being a rather short (<20 cm) dioecious, stoloniferous perennial that forms clumps; often grows in colonies creating wispy lighter colored patches on the landscape; often with plant bases becoming exposed. The female spikelets are distinctive, having multiple long, spreading awns 5-10 cm long. Abundant on overgrazed land, because of its unpalatability. Scleropogon is a monospecific genus. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Scleropogon is from the Greek for hard beard for the firm awns, while brevifolius means short leaved. Synonyms: Schleropogon longisetus Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Frankie Coburn  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Liz Makings  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Patrick Alexander  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Frankie Coburn  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Patrick Alexander  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Patrick Alexander  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Frankie Coburn  
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Patrick Alexander  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Patrick Alexander  
Scleropogon brevifolius image
Patrick Alexander  
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