Culms 20-40 cm, geniculate at the base, usually with many tillers. Sheaths with
hyaline margins, distal portion of the lower cauline sheaths ciliate; blades 2-7.5
cm long, 2-5 mm wide. Spikes 1-3 cm long, 0.4-0.7 cm wide, narrowly
ovoid to ellipsoid, widest basally, with (2)3-4 spikelets, distal spikelet
sterile; rudimentary spikelets 1(2); disarticulation at the
base of the spikes, above the rudimentary spikelets. Basal spikelets 7-10
mm long, 3-4 mm wide, urceolate, lower spikelet with 3-4 florets, lower
1-2 florets fertile; apical spikelets 4-5 mm long, 1-2 mm wide,
narrowly obovoid, with 1 floret, florets reduced, sterile. Glumes of
lower spikelets 6-10 mm, ovate, smooth, scabrous, appressed-velutinous,
(3)4(5)-awned, awns 2-4.5 cm; glumes of apical spikelets about 3
mm, 4-awned, awns usually 1-3.5 cm; lemma of fertile florets 6-8
mm, adaxial surfaces often velutinous distally, apices 2-3-awned, awns
1-2.5 cm. Caryopses 4-6 mm, falling free from the lemmas and paleas. HaplomesMU.
2n = 28.
In the Flora region, Aegilops geniculata is known only from Mendocino County, California, where it usually occurs along roadsides. It is native from the Mediterranean area to central Asia. In California it grows in silty clay.