Stolons to 50 cm, wiry, internodes 5-15 cm. Culms (5)10-20 cm, erect. Ligules about 1 mm; blades 2-8(12) cm long, 1-2 mm wide. Bisexual spikelets 2-4 cm, staminate florets below the pistillate florets. Staminate spikelets 2-3 cm. Pistillate spikelets subtended by a glumelike bract; lemma bodies 2.5-3 cm. 2n = 40.
Okla., N.Mex., Tex., Utah, Calif., Colo., Ariz., Nev.
Scleropogon brevifolius grows on grassy plains and flats, generally being most abundant on disturbed or overgrazed land. Its North American range extends form the southwestern United States to central Mexico; its South American range is from Chile to northwestern Argentina.