Comprehensive Description

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General: Grass Family (Poaceae). Composite dropseed is a tall (2 to 4 ft.), native, perennial, warm-season bunchgrass. Culms are erect, solitary or in small tufts, simple or branching, 24 to 48 inches tall, solid and glabrous. Some varieties have short rhizomes. Inflorescences are narrow panicles, 2 to 12 inches long and partially to completely included in the upper sheaths. The inflorescences are either white or pale purple in coloration. Composite dropseed flowers during late summer to early autumn. The stems and leaves bleach whitish during winter.

Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: Composite dropseed occurs on prairies and foothills on dry clayey to silty soils. It is most abundant on soils that are intermittently wet and dry. It does not grow on either deep sandy soils or on soils with a high water table. In the Great Basin composite dropseed grows on dry often sandy sites in Juniper communities and in fallow fields below 2,100 ft.


Public Domain

USDA NRCS Elsberry Plant Materials Center and the National Plant Data Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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