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Chloris verticillata (Tumble windmill grass)
Page, Lee

Chloris verticillata

Chloris verticillata Nutt.

Tumble Windmill Grass, Windmillgrass

Poaceae (Grass Family)


USDA Symbol: CHVE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Culms: 15-40 cm tall, erect. Panicle: 10-16 laterally spreading branches 5-15 cm. long well distributed in 2-5 verticils. Spikelets: 4-7 spikelets per cm. of rachis.

This compact grass has a visually interesting flower consisting of 10-16 spikes arranged into at least 2 levels of "windmills." The spikes may have a purplish cast. The plant was a minor member of the original prairie and is a useful component for a prairie grass mix used on disturbed sites. It is also suitable as a specimen planting among like-sized flowering plants.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: 6 to 18 inches tall
Leaf: Pale bluish green
Flower: Heads 3 to 7 inches across

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: The spikelets are initially reddish green, but they later turn tan or brown when the grains become ripe. Can bloom from May until frost.


USA: AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MO , NE , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , WY
Native Distribution: Texas: North central and western. U.S.A.: Nebraska to southern California
Native Habitat: Heavy sandy or gravelly soils of disturbed areas, roadsides, lawns, and parks.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Description: Heavy, well drained, usually calcareous, sandy or gravelly soils, including sand, loam, clay, gravel, caliche, and limestone. Does well in compacted and disturbed soils.


Use Ornamental: An attractive, short grass for grassland restoration on disturbed sites
Use Wildlife: Poor grazing. Seeds eaten by marshland birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: The Grass Family is an essential larval host for most branded skippers and most of the satyrs.
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Can be grown from seed or root divisions taken in winter.
Seed Treatment: No special pre-treatment.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0934 Collected Oct 20, 1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth White

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-163 Collected 2007-10-14 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Chloris verticillata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chloris verticillata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chloris verticillata


Record Modified: 2022-07-08
Research By: NPC

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