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Common Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus)
Grasses Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Common Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus)

General: Common Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus) is a short, upright grass that grows in individual clumps (bunches) in the deserts around Las Vegas. The clumps, however, can be so dense as to nearly cover the ground.

This grass sprouts early in the spring, grows quickly, then sets seed and dies, leaving what can be a dense carpet of dry grass that carries fires in areas that once rarely burned because the shrubs were spread too far apart. Because it burns so easily, Mediterranean Grass threatens to help change the Mojave Desert from a shrub-dominated landscape to an open grassland.

Mediterranean Grass is a common component of vegetation associations in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zones.

Common Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus)

Family: Grass (Poaceae).

Other Names:

Plant Form: Annual grass. Grows in bunches.

Height: About 5 inches.

Stems:

Leaves:

Flowers:

Common Mediterranean Grass (Schismus barbatus)

Seeds:

Habitat: Sandy and rocky soils.

Elevation: To about 5,000 feet.

Distribution: Native to southern Europe, this species is an invasive weed in the U.S. deserts from California to Texas.

Comments:

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 081227

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