Plants annual. Culms 20-60 cm, wiry. Leaves cauline; sheaths
usually shorter than the internodes, mostly glabrous, sparsely hairy near the
summit; collars hispidulous, occasionally glabrous; ligules 0.2-0.5
mm; blades 3-22 cm long, to 2 mm wide, flat to involute, glabrous abaxially,
sparsely pilose adaxially, without a prominent midrib but with a thickened vein
near each margin, pale to gray-green, sometimes slightly glaucous. Inflorescences
paniculate or racemose, 5-12 cm long, 2-4 cm wide; primary branches barely
developed. Spikelets appressed to slightly divergent from the axillary
pulvini. Glumes subequal, apices bifid, awned from the sinuses; lower
glumes (9)11-16 mm, 3-7-veined, awns 0.5-2(4) mm; upper glumes 11-18
mm, 1-3-veined, awns 3-7 mm; calluses 0.4-1 mm; lemmas (8)15-20(22)
mm, dark, occasionally banded or spotted, apices narrowed but not beaklike;
central awns 12-25 mm, bases with a semicircular bend; lateral awns
1-4 mm, erect, occasionally lacking; anthers 3, about 3 mm, brown. Caryopses
9-11 mm, dark brown to black. 2n = unknown.
Aristida ramosissima grows in open, dry, sterile ground, fallow fields,
and roadsides. It is restricted to the United States.
Annual 2-5 dm; culms very slender, erect, branched from the base and all nodes; lvs very narrow, flat or involute; panicle lax, raceme-like, 5-10 cm, the spikelets solitary or rarely paired; racemes of the branches usually smaller; glumes unequal, the first 3-5-veined, 10-21 (avg 14) mm, the second 15-28 (avg 20) mm; lemma 11-21 mm, tapering gradually into the awn; central awn stout, 1.7-3.7 cm, bent at the base into a quarter to a full turn; lateral awns erect, 0.5-6 mm, rarely absent. Dry soil; s. Ind. to Io., s. to Tenn. and Tex.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.