Cauline internodes glabrous. Lower glumes 4-8 mm; upper glumes 7-15
mm; awns forming a 4-16 mm column, free portions 12-40 mm.
Aristida californica var. glabrata grows in sandy to rocky soils of desert grassland and desert thorn-scrub communities in the Sonoran and Mojave deserts at elevations of 500-1400 m, generally to the east of var. californica.