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Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri (Curly-mesquite)
Waitt, Damon E.

Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri

Hilaria belangeri (Steud.) Nash var. belangeri


Poaceae (Grass Family)

Synonym(s): Anthephora belangeri


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Curly-mesquite is a tufted, perennial grass sending out slender stolons which produce new tufts in the internodes. The flowering culms are to 1 ft. tall with a slender spike. Twisted, grayish-green leaf blades, 4-6 in. tall, are covered with long, silvery, curly hairs.


From the Image Gallery

1 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 Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: W. TX to AZ & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry hillsides, swales, rocky slopes, plains, mesas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils. Limestone-based, caliche type, sandy, sandy loam, medium loam, clay loam, clay
Conditions Comments: Curlymesquite, one of the more palatable grass species, can be important for forage use in the desert Southwest. Responds well to disturbance, can be used as a grass mix in urban lawns. Requires no water and very little care.


Use Ornamental: Turf, Ground cover, Can be mowed
Use Wildlife: This is an important wildlife forage grass. Seeds for granivorous birds, provides nesting material.
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Root Division
Description: Propagate by seed or divide roots while the grass is dormant.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Will drought-stricken non-native St. Augustine come back in Cedar Park TX
January 30, 2010
I recently bought a new house but the grass in the yard looked completely dead (bought house in Nov) even though the neighbor's grass was still green. The previous owner stopped watering the grass (e...
view the full question and answer

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
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri


Record Modified: 2007-10-12
Research By: RSB

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