Plants tufted or solitary. Culms 7-70 cm; nodes 3-5, glabrous,
darkened. Sheaths 0.6-10.5 cm, smooth or scabridulous and minutely papillose;
ligules 1-7 mm, veined, erose to lacerate, scabridulous and minutely
papillose; blades (0.8)1.5-20 cm long, (0.4)1.5-6 mm wide, antrorsely
scabridulous, glabrous. Panicles (1.1)2-16.5 cm long, (1.5)3-37 mm wide;
rachises glabrous; branches to 3.4 cm, appressed to ascending,
antrorsely scabridulous, pedicels with enlarged apices. Rachilla extensions
0.3-0.6 mm, densely pubescent. Glumes antrorsely scabridulous and minutely
papillose below, almost scabrous above, margins hyaline; lower glumes
3-7 mm; upper glumes 2.7-5.5 mm; lemmas 1-1.5 mm, appressed pubescent,
unawned or awned, awns to 6 mm, column twisted; paleas 1-1.3 mm, glabrous;
anthers 0.5-0.9 mm, yellow-orange or purple. Caryopses 0.8-1 mm
long, 0.4-0.5 mm wide, glabrous. 2n = 14.
Native to southwest Asia and northeast Africa, Gastridium phleoides now
grows in Australia, South Africa, North America, and South America on dry, often
disturbed areas. In the Flora region it is established in Oregon and
California; it has also been collected in Arizona, western Texas (US 843557,
Texas, 1884, Nealley s.n.), Massachusetts, and South Carolina.
Gastridium phleoides has been mistakenly placed in G. ventricosum
(Gouan) Schinz & Thell. in North America, but it differs in having densely
pubescent lemmas and well-developed, densely pubescent rachilla extensions.