Hairy Tridens , Hairy Woollygrass

Erioneuron pilosum (Buckley) Nash



This low, tufted grass has erect, slender stems, usually with only one node above the basal cluster of leaves. The blades are narrow, often folded at the mid-vein, fuzzy, grayish-green with white margins, and pointed at the tip. The ligule is a fringe of hairs. The short, dense, club-shaped panicles are purple to white. Seedheads are 0.75 to 2 inches or 1.9 to 5 cm in length. Spikelets are 0.5 to 0.75 inches or 1.2 to 1.9 cm in length with 7 to 18 closely spaced, hairy florets. Lemmas and paleas have distinct fuzzy, soft, white hair. Bloom time occurs from April to October.  Hairy Tridens is a perennial, warm-season, native ranging from 4 to 12 inches or 10 to 30 cm tall.  Poor grazing for livestock and wildlife. Seeds are consumed by granivorous bird species, and small mammals can use the plant for nesting material. 


Grows on dry, gravelly, shallow soil and invades overgrazed areas. Native habitat includes well-drained limestone, sand, and caliche within rangelands and pastures. Hairy Woollygrass is abundant in far West Texas and the Edwards Plateau on prairies and disturbed locations.