Plants perennial; cespitose, usually not dense, hard, or knotty, without
rhizomes or stolons. Culms 15-65 cm, erect, geniculate, or decumbent, sometimes
rooting at the lower nodes, usually branching from the aerial nodes. Sheaths glabrous
or pubescent; ligules 0.2-0.3 mm, membranous, ciliate; blades 5-20
cm long, 1-5 mm wide, bases with papillose-based hairs on the margins, both surfaces
glabrous or pubescent. Panicles 4-14 cm, with (3)7-12 branches; branches
10-20 mm, with 2-8 spikelets, extending 4-6 mm beyond the base of the terminal
spikelets, apices entire; disarticulation at the base of the branches.
Spikelets appressed, all alike, with 1 bisexual and 1 staminate (rarely
rudimentary) floret. Glumes glabrous, veins scabrous or strigose; lower
glumes 4-7 mm; upper glumes 4-9 mm, mostly glabrous, sometimes scabrous
or strigose over the veins, apices acute, unawned or awn-tipped, awns about 1
mm; lowest lemmas 4.5-8 mm, usually glabrous, rarely pubescent basally,
3-awned, awns wide basally, central awns slightly longer than the lateral awns,
often flanked by 2 membranous 0.5-1.5 mm lobes; lowest paleas 6-8 mm, bilobed,
often shortly 2-awned; anthers 3-5.5 mm, usually orange or yellow, occasionally
red or purple; second lemmas 5.5-7 mm, glabrous, 3-awned, central awns
4-10 mm, often flanked by membranous lobes, lateral awns 2-10 mm; second paleas
4-7 mm; anthers smaller than those of the lowest florets; rachillas
prolonged beyond the second florets as a short bristle. Caryopses 3-4 mm.
2n = 20, 40, 60.
Bouteloua repens grows in open, usually hilly terrain on many soil types,
from sandy ocean shores to montane slopes, reaching elevations of 2500 m. Its
native range extends from the southwestern United States through the Caribbean
islands, Mexico, and Central America to Colombia and Venezuela.
FNA 2003, Gould 1980
Common Name: slender grama Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Tufted perennial grass; stems firm but usually not dense, hard, or knotty; erect, geniculate, or decumbent; usually branching at aerial nodes; without rhizomes or stolons; 30-60 cm tall. Vegetative: Sheaths rounded, not becoming conspicuously flattened; ligules membranous and ciliate, 0.2 to 0.3 mm; blades glaucous, short, flat, 5-20 cm long by 1-5 mm broad, mostly in a basal clump; bases of blades with papillose-based hairs on the margins. Inflorescence: Seven to twelve spicate branches on the upper 3-10 cm of the stem axis, these with 2-8 spikelets on a flattened, ciliate rachis 1-2 cm long; spikelets with a 1 fertile floret below and 1 staminate floret above; glumes subequal, both broadly lanceolate and with a scabrous or scabrous-ciliate midnerve; fertile lemma glabrous or nearly so, the nerves usually extending into short awns; palea as long as the lemma; staminate floret about as long as the fertile floret, with two lateral short-awned lobes and a large central lobe bearing a stout scabrous awn; caryopses 3-4 mm. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes, below 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowers August-December. Distribution: AZ, NM, TX; south through Greater Antilles, MEX, C. Amer. to n S. Amer. Notes: This species is a part of a group of Bouteloua very similar in appearance being perennials with short inflorescence branches (sometimes appearing as clusters of spikelets) on both sides of the axis and are deciduous, completely falling off and leaving a small nodule behind. Distinguished from the similar B. radicosa and B. chondrosioides by often having less hair along the rachilla of the spikelets, and most hair restricted to the rachilla and midnerve of the lemmas; 7 - 12 spikate branches; from B. radicosa by lacking a hard, knotty, rhizomotous base; and a generally yellowish or grayish tinge, with often thinner leaves than the others. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have many uses. Etymology: Bouteloua named for brothers Claudio (1774-1842) and Esteban (1776-1813) Boutelou Agraz, Spanish botanists and horticulturalists; repens means having creeping and rooting stems. Synonyms: Bouteloua filiformis, B. heterostega, Dinebra repens Editor: SBuckley, 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015