Digitaria californica (Benth.) Henr.
Arizona Cottontop, California Cottontop, California Crab Grass, Cottontop
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Trichachne californica
USDA Symbol: DICA8
A warm-season bunchgrass with erect culms from a knotty, felty base. Numerous leaves surround the 2-4 ft. culms which bear attractive white to purplish, cottony seedheads.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AZ , CO , NM , OK , TX
Native Distribution: TX & OK to s. CO, AZ & Mex.
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Deep, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: A very drought tolerant species, rarely found in pure stands. It will repeatedly go to seed when moisture is available. Useful both as an ornamental and for improving rangeland.
PropagationCommercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Digitaria californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Digitaria californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Digitaria californica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-21
Research By: TWC Staff