Gyp dropseed

(Sporobolus nealleyi Vasey)

Gyp dropseed culms are 6 to 12 inches tall, tufted, erect, slender, with the larger plants branching from strong roots. The blades are about 2 inches long and less than 1/16 inch wide, bent at almost right angles from the culm, slightly rough on the u pper surface and with their edges inrolled. The panicles of the inflorescence are less than 3" long, purple, erect and may be partly or even completely enclosed by the sheath. The capillary branches ascend for one inch or less and are commonly solitary, b earing a row of spikelets on the outer two-thirds. The very short spikelets are purple and on rough pedicels nearly as long as the spikelets themselves.
Distribution and habitat
Not often seen in Arizona, it has been recorded in a variety of environments, from high pine forests at 8,300 feet to a sandy wash and a black volcanic plateau at 5,000. It is also know from Texas and New Mexico to grow in gypsum sands. It may also si mply be another form of sand dropseed.
General information
Gyp dropseed is obviously not a significant forage species on the Colorado Plateau. It is one of the gypsum-soil adapted plants associated with the alkali lakes of south-central and southeastern New Mexico.