Achnatherum brachychaetum (Godr.) Barkworth


Achnatherum brachychaetum is a densely tufted perennial, with shallow roots and erect stems to 3.3 ft. (1 m) tall. Foliage is tough and unpalatable to livestock, except for young shoots. It is present almost year round. It is often associated with alfalfa fields. The dense clumps can mechanically interfere with mowing.
The leaf blades are linear, 0.04-0.07 in. (1-2 mm) wide, 16-24 in. (40-60 cm) long, flat or slightly involute, and rigid. Feels rough to touch. The sheaths are open and glabrous, but with ciliate hairs along the upper margins and especially at the auricles. The ligules are membranous.
Achnatherum brachychaetum flowers in the Spring and Summer. The panicles are nearly pyramidal 8-12 in. (20-30 cm) long and just pass the tops of the blades. Spikelets with 1 floret. The glumes are glabrous and nearly equal, ranging from 0.24-0.31 in. (6-8 mm) long.
The seed have many hairs. Awns are straight or bent and up to 0.8 in. (1.8 cm) long. Modified spikelets called cleistogenes can be found inside the stems above the nodes of flowering shoots and at the stem base.
Ecological Threat
Achnatherum brachychaetum can be found in disturbed sites. It is often seen in alfalfa fields and nearby drainage ditches, dairies, and horse pastures.

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EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Achnatherum
Subject: Achnatherum brachychaetum (Godr.) Barkworth

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
shortbristled needlegrass, needlegrass, punagrass

Related Scientific Names:
Nassella brachychaetum (Godr.) Barkworth (Synonym)
Stipa brachychaeta (Godr.) Barkworth (Synonym)


Plants - Grass or Grasslike