Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Poaceae - Page 1 >>> Poaceae - larger annuals/perennials >>> Poaceae - Page 3

Sonoran Desert Grasses

Many, many species. Just a few shown for now ...

Wild Oat

Avena fatua


Panicum capillare

Photo by Mike Plagens

Tall annual grass of spring. Fairly common along washes at mid and higher elevations of the Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass late spring and summer in moister soils. Widely spaced spikelets on broad panicle. Detailed Description


Sporobolus airoides

Photo by Mike Plagens

Medium-sized, growing in tough clumps in seasonally flooded and partly saline soil. Detailed Description

Foxtail Barley

Hordeum jubatum

Rabbitfoot Grass

Polypogon monspeliensis

Photo by Mike Plagens

Annual grass of spring growing mostly as a weed in urban and agricultural settings. Also at roadsides and along wetter washes. Common to abundant. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Attractive annual grass found mid to late spring in moist, riparian habitats. Showy plume-like spikes. Non-native. Detailed Description

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Buffel Grass

Pennisetum ciliare

Fountain Grass

Pennisetum setaceum

Photo by Mike Plagens

Perennial and highly invasive weed in the Sonoran Desert. Maroon colored spikes; can bloom almost anytime of year. Grows on rocky slopes and at roadsides and may appear shrubby. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Large perennial grass widely planted for its ornamental value in Sonoran Desert urban xeriscapes. Unfortunately it is not native and has begun invading natural desert areas as at roadsides and along major washes. Tall, purple-maroon spikes. Detailed Description

Johnson Grass

Sorghum halepense

Tufted Lovegrass
Desert Lovegrass

Eragrostis pectinacea

Photo by Mike Plagens

Large perennial grass forming thickets. Spikelets in pyramidal inflorescence are reddish when in flower. Weedy invasive growing along ditches and riparian streams. Detailed Description

Image by Mike Plagens

Annual tufted grass with many small, compressed spikelets with 5 to 15 florets. Washes and roadsides. Detailed Description

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012