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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

False Buffalograss - Munroa squarrosa
Other Names:  Monroa squarrosa [orth. rej.]

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4
* (see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Munroa squarrosa occurs from southwest to eastern Montana. It grows in dry open areas, such as grasslands, shrubby grasslands, roadsides, overgrazed pastures, farmyards, prairie dog towns, and where soils are sandy. It grows well in disturbed places.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    False Buffalograss (Munroa squarrosa) Conservation Status Review
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General Description
PLANTS: Warm season, annual bunchgrass. Stems often mat-forming, 3–10 cm (Lesica et al. 2012). Plants are stoloniferous (FNA 2003). Plants are white-hairy; these hairs are delicate and prone to falling off when the plants are collected.

LEAVES: Blades 1.5–2.5 mm wide, flat and ascending, and clustered at nodes (Lesica et al. 2012). Leaves sometimes have a purple tinge (FNA 2003). Throat with stiff hairs of up to 2 mm length. Ligule is a fringe of hairs 0.5–1 mm long. Sheaths with overlapping margins (Lesica et al. 2012).

INFLORESCENCE: A cluster of spikelets concealed among leaf sheaths. Spikelets 6–8 mm long with 3 to 4 florets (Lesica et al. 2012).

Species Range

Range Comments
Throughout much of the western half of the U.S. and south-central Canada (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 58

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sporadic in open dry and regularly disturbed sites such as along roadsides and overgrazed pastures (Lesica et al. 2012).

Reproductive Characteristics
Plants are stoloniferous.

Glumes are as long as florets (Lesica et al. 2012). Lemmas 3 to 5 per spikelet, awn-tipped with 3 distinct veins. Palea enclosed in floret. Disarticulating below the glumes. The unit of dispersal is the inflorescence and associated leaf cluster.

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003. Flora of North America North of Mexico, Volume 4, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, Part 1. Oxford University Press, New York.
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
False Buffalograss — Munroa squarrosa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from