Muhlenbergia microsperma (DC.) Trin.  
Family: Poaceae
littleseed muhly,  more...
[Agrostis debilis (Kunth) Spreng.,  more]
Muhlenbergia microsperma image
Gary A. Monroe  

Plants annual, sometimes appearing as short-lived perennials; tufted. Culms10-80 cm, often geniculate at the base, much branched near the base; internodes mostly scabridulous or smooth, always scabridulous below the nodes. Sheaths often shorter than the internodes, glabrous, smooth or scabridulous; ligules 1-2 mm, membranous to hyaline, truncate to obtuse; blades 3-8.5(10) cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide, flat or loosely involute, scabrous abaxially, strigulose adaxially. Panicles 6.5-13.5 cm long, 1-6.5 cm wide, not dense, often purplish; branches 1.6-4 cm, ascending or diverging up to 80° from the rachises, spikelet-bearing to the base; pedicels 2-6 mm, appressed to divaricate, antrorsely scabrous; disarticulation above the glumes. Spikelets 2.5-5.5 mm, borne singly. Glumes 0.4-1.3 mm, exceeded by the florets, 1-veined, obtuse, often minutely erose; lower glumes 0.4-1 mm; upper glumes 0.6-1.3 mm; lemmas 2.5-3.8(5.3) mm, narrowly lanceolate, mostly smooth, scabridulous distally, hairy on the calluses, lower 1/2 of the margins, and midveins, hairs 0.2-0.5 mm, apices acuminate, awned, awns 10-30 mm, straight to flexuous; paleas 2.2-4.8 mm, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate; anthers 0.3-1.2 mm, purplish. Caryopses 1.7-2.5 mm, fusiform, reddish-brown. Cleistogamous panicles with 1-3 spikelets present in the axils of the lower leaves. 2n = 20, 40, 60.

Muhlenbergia microsperma grows on sandy slopes, drainages, cliffs, rock outcrops, and disturbed roadsides, at elevations of 0-2400 m. It is usually found in creosote scrub, thorn-scrub forest, sarcocaulescent desert, and oak-pinyon woodland associations. Its range extends from the southwestern United States through Central America to Peru and Venezuela. Morphological variation among and within its populations is marked.

References: Delta World grasses
Dr. David Bogler, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
Annuals, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stems branching above base or distally at nodes, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly basal, below middle of stem, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades disarticulating from sheath, deciduous at ligule, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades very narrow or filiform, less than 2 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, o r conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 1 fertile floret, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes 1 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 3 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma a pex dentate, 2-fid, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma awn 1-2 cm long, Lemma awn 2-4 cm long or longer, Lemma awn from sinus of bifid apex, Lemma awns straight or curved to base, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Callus or base of lemma evidently hairy, Callus hairs shorter than lemma, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.
Muhlenbergia microsperma image
Gregory Gust  
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Gregory Gust  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Anthony Mendoza  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Anthony Mendoza  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Gary A. Monroe  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Sue Rutman  
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Sue Rutman  
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