Stolons slender. Culms 3-15(30) cm, highly branched, scabrous, often minutely puberulent. Ligules 0.5(1) mm; blades 1-5 cm long, 1-2.5 mm wide. Spikelets 6-8(10) mm, with 3-5 florets. Glumes of first 1-2 spikelets subequal, 2.5-4.2 mm, narrow, 1-veined, acute; glumes of upper spikelets unequal, lower glumes reduced or even absent in the terminal spikelets; lemmas in lower spikelets scabridulous, lanceolate, midvein excurrent, forming a stout, scabrous 0.5-2 mm awn, lateral veins with a tuft of hairs on the margins near midlength, excurrent; anthers 1-1.5 mm. 2n = 16.
Munroa squarrosa grows in dry, open areas, usually in sandy soil or disturbed sites, from Saskatchewan and Alberta south to Chihuahua, Mexico.
FNA 2007, Field Guide to Forest & Mtn. Plants of N AZ 2009, Ann. Checklist GCNP 1987
Common Name: false buffalograss Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Mat-forming annual grass, with spreading, tightly clustered leaves; stems 3-15 cm long, many-branched, scabrous, prostrate to ascending, and tipped with a short inflorescence that sits within the leaf clusters or is elevated just above. Vegetative: Blades mostly basal, sometimes with a purple tint, 1-5 cm long, 1-2 mm wide, flat or folded, with white, thickened margin and an acuminate apex; ligules <1 mm long, ciliate; sheaths open, often with hair tufts near collar. Inflorescence: Terminal, capitate panicles of short spikelike branches, the branches almost completely hidden in a subtending leafy bract, with 2-4 subsessile or pedicellate spikelets; spikelets 6-8 mm long, with 3-5 florets, the terminal florets sterile and the lower florets bisexual; glumes of lower spikelets subequal, 2-4 mm long, narrow, acute, 1-veined; glumes of upper spikelets subequal, with lower glume in the terminal spikelets reduced or even absent; lemmas 3-5 mm long, lanceolate, 3-veined, with a tuft a hair along the lower portion of the lateral veins; lemma midvein forming an awn to 2 mm long. Ecology: Found in dry, open, and disturbed areas, in rocky or often in sandy soil at 4,000-7,000 ft. (1200-2100 m); flowers June-October. Distribution: Western N. Amer. from Saskatchewan and Alberta, CAN south to Chihuahua, MEX. Notes: Munroa is a genus of five species, only one of which occurs in the United States; the others occur in South America. M. squarrosa is distinct on the landscape by its low growth form and short stems tipped with clusters of leaves with pointy tips that hide small dense inflorescences. This species is distinct from its closest relatives, Blepharidachne and Dasyochloa by the fact that it is an annual. It also lacks the white tufts of hairs emerging from the spikelets that are so distinctive on Dasyochloa. The genus name has often been misspelled as Monroa. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Munroa is named after William Munro (1818-1880), an English naturalist who worked in India; squarrosa refers to leaves spreading at right angles. Synonyms: Monroa squarrosa Editor: LKearsley 2012, AHazelton 2015