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Arizona Cottontop
Digitaria californica

About Arizona Cottontop (Digitaria californica) Digitaria californica is a species of grass known by the common name Arizona cottontop. It is native to the Americas, where it can be found in the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. This perennial grass forms a clump of stems reaching up to a meter in height. The branching root system can reach one meter deep. There are no rhizomes or stolons. The leaf sheaths around the stems can be very hairy to woolly. The leaves are usually short and narrow. The inflorescence is a dense, narrow panicle containing pairs of woolly-haired spikelets.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
2 - 4 ft (0.6 - 1.2 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
139' - 5018'

Annual Precip. ?
3.4" - 12.0"

Summer Precip. ?
1.18" - 2.58"

Coldest Month ?
45.5° F - 59.5° F

Hottest Month ?
69.8° F - 88.4° F

Humidity ?
4.89 vpd - 39.96 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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