Bouteloua repens (Kunth) Scribn. & Merr.

slender grama

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Slender grama is native to the area between Arizona and northern South America. It is only an occasional visitor to New England, having been collected in waste and disturbed areas in Massachusetts and Maine.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
1–5 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
4.5–8 mm
Glume relative length
neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
Awn on glume
  • the glume has an awn
  • the glume has no awn
One or more florets
  • there is more than one floret per spikelet
  • there is one floret per spikelet
Leaf sheath hair type
there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, but the hairs do not have blisters at their bases
Leaf ligule length
0.2–0.3 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    • the glume has an awn
    • the glume has no awn
    Bristles below spikelets
    no
    Floret lower bract texture
    the lemma is thin and flexible
    Floret types within spikelet
    there are at least two distinct forms of florets within one spikelet
    Glume relative length
    neither glume is quite as long as all of the florets
    Glume veins
    1
    Glumes per spikelet
    2
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branch length
    1–2 cm
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence branches coming off the lowest stem node
    1
    Inflorescence crowding
    the panicle is somewhat to very spread out, with clearly-evident branches
    Inflorescence length
    40–140 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Inforescence position
    the spikelets are mainly carried at the end of the stem
    Lemma awn coiled
    the lemma awn is straight or twisted, but not coiled one half turn
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has more than one awn on it
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    • the lemma tip is a simple point, with or without an awn (long narrow extension ending in a point)
    • the lemma tip is split into two or more points
    Lower glume length
    4–7 mm
    Lower glume relative length
    the lower glume is one third to three quarters as long as the upper glume
    One or more florets
    • there is more than one floret per spikelet
    • there is one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on the plant have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is no extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    4.5–8 mm
    Spikelet pedicel
    the spikelets do not have pedicels
    Spikelet pedicel length
    0 mm
    Spikelet position
    the spikelets emerge from both the upper and lower halves of the inflorescence branches
    Spikelet shape
    • the spikelets are obovate (egg-shaped but with the widest point above the middle) in profile
    • the spikelets are obtriangular (triangular, with the widest end away from the point of attachment) in profile
    Spikelets per panicle branch
    2–8
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Tip of glume
    the tip of the glume is not divided (though it may have an awn on it)
    Upper glume length
    4–9 mm
  • Growth form
    Horizontal rooting stem
    no
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Rhizomes
    no
    Roots
    there are only slender roots on the plant
  • Leaves
    Basal leaves
    • the plant has few or no leaves coming from the base of the flowering stem
    • the plant has large or prominent tufts of leaves at the base of the flowering stem
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade hairs
    • the leaf blade is hairless, but it may have tiny prickles that give it a sand-papery feel
    • the leaf blade is hairy
    Leaf blade length
    5–20 cm
    Leaf blade width
    1–5 mm
    Leaf ligule length
    0.2–0.3 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of a membrane with fine hairs
    Leaf margin glands
    there are no glands along the edges of the leaf blade
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath color and persistence
    the leaf sheathes are off-white to light-brown and mostly persist in older leaves
    Leaf sheath hair type
    there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath, but the hairs do not have blisters at their bases
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    Orientation of topmost leaf
    the flag leaf is held upright, or at less than a 45 degree angle out from the stem
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    15–65 cm
    Roots at lower stem nodes
    • no
    • yes
    Stem hairs
    • the stem has hairs on it
    • the stem is nearly to completely hairless
    Stem orientation
    • the stems are upright
    • the stems trail at the base, but turn upwards at the tips
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Bouteloua curtipendula:
inflorescence with mostly 30-80 branches and central awn of lowest lemma not flanked by lateral lobes, therefore the lemma with a total of 3 apical lobes (vs. B. repens, with the inflorescence with mostly 6-12 branches and central awn of lowest lemma of spikelet arising from between two membranous lobes, therefore the lemma with a total of 5 apical lobes).
Bouteloua rigidiseta:
apex of panicle branch axis prominently bifid or trifid and upper glume bilobed, the awn emerging from the sinus (vs. B. repens, with the apex of the panicle branch axis entire and the upper glume acute at the apex, unawned or with a short awn-tip).

Synonyms

  • Bouteloua filiformis (Fourn.) Griffiths
  • Dinebra repens Kunth

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Bouteloua

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Bouteloua repens (Kunth) Scribn. & Merr. E

slender grama. Bouteloua filiformis (Fourn.) Griffiths; Dinebra repens Kunth • MA, ME. 
Waste areas, disturbed ground.