Hooded Windmillgrass

Chloris cucullata



This tufted, erect bunchgrass sometimes has short stolons. Its glabrous stems are flat as are its sheaths, and both are bluish green. The sheaths only cover about one-third of the internode and have white margins. Leaves are folded and about 5 to 20 cm long and 4 to 5 mm wide  The inflorescence has seven to eighteen stout, purplish terminal spikes borne in several closely spaced whorls at the culm apex (see Technical Note) that turn straw yellow or black when ripe. The 1.5 mm, two-floret spikelets are purple-tinged and crowded all the way to the base of the branches. There are short awns on the triangular spikelets. Hooded Windmillgrass tends to bloom in May and seed in August and September, though it can flower several times during the year. The seeds themselves appear inflated.  Hooded Windmillgrass is a perennial, warm-season, native reaching 24 inches or 60 cm tall.  Fair grazing for livestock and wildlife. According to an NRCS publication, it has a fairly high quality albeit low quantity forage. 


Grows on upland sandy soils and disturbed areas; increases on overgrazed ranges following grazing deferment. The NRCS Fact Sheet states “It is adapted to acid to neutral medium- and coarse-textured soils. It does not do well on calcareous or clay soils.”