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- Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Bothriochloa laguroides - silver beardgrass

Synonyms: Andropogon laguriformis, A. laguroides, A. tenuirachis, Bothriochloa saccharoides var. laguroides
Other Common Names: silver bluestem
Plant Form: Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Liz Makings @, Usage Rights Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Native    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Open dry sandy soils of grasslands, prairies, river bottoms and woodlands. Also found on rocky limestone slopes and in disturbed areas.
Plant Communities:Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3000 - 6000 feet

Similar Species: Bothriochloa barbinodis
General Description

Desc: Clumping grass with silky flower puffs on vertical stems. Foliage of this plant is 12 to 18 inches high and the erect flower spike grows 2 to 3 feet above the foliage. As fall progresses, the leaves change in color to red, purple or burnt orange.
Identification Notes: Seedheads are up to 5 inches long; spikelets are rounded and awned, stemmed or sessile, sessile ones are subtended by silvery-white or light tan hairs that obscure the spikelets; leaves are often clustered at the base of the plant.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: N  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Oct
Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: 1/4 inch to 1 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: Y
Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedheads are borne on ascending, usually straight branches and have a silvery white coloration. Spikelets have 2 florets; only one is bisexual and fertile. Awns are spirally twisted and bent near the base.
Vegetative Charcteristics

Blade Hairy: N    Blade with White Margins: N    Blade Cross section: Flat or folded
Blade Notes: Leaf blades flat or sometimes folded, the midvein thickened, and smooth or sparsely hairy at the base. Leaf sheath is smooth, mostly open and loose. Leaf blades are covered with a waxy bluish-green or gray coating and sometimes also have white glands.
Sheath Hairy: N    Tuft of Hairs at top of Sheath or Collar: N    Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at collar area: N

Forage Value: Fair forage value for livestock and wildlife. It is usually only grazed in its early growth stage.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Content Questions/Comments: Email Matt Halldorson  
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