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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



John R. Reeder

Annual, perennial herb; often glandular, glands often wart-like, round, pitted. Leaf: sheath margin hairy on sides just below collar; ligules ciliate. Inflorescence: generally panicle-like, open or dense, occasionally spike-like, often glandular. Spikelet: laterally compressed; glumes ± unequal, acute or acuminate, 1(3)-veined; florets 3–many, axis breaking above glumes and between florets, or persistent, with glumes, lemmas deciduous, paleae remaining attached or not; lemma keeled or rounded, acute or obtuse, 3-veined, veins generally obvious; palea ± = lemma. Fruit: 0.4–2.4 mm, variously-shaped, occasionally longitudinally grooved, generally not noticeably compressed, generally red-brown.
± 300 species: tropics, warm temperate. (Greek: eros, love, agrostis, a kind of grass) [Peterson 2003 FNANM 25:65–105]
Unabridged references: [Hilu and Alice 2001 Syst Bot 29:545–552; Koch 1974 Ill Biol Monogr 48:1–74]

Key to Eragrostis

1. Perennial herb; spikelet axis breaking tardily above glumes and between florets

2. Leaf blade 12–50 (65) cm; spikelet 1.5–2 mm wide; lemma 1.8–3 mm; fruit ± 1.5 mm ..... E. curvula

2' Leaf blade 2–12 cm; spikelet 0.8–1.2 mm wide; lemma 1.4–1.7 mm; fruit 0.6–0.8 mm ..... E. lehmanniana

1' Annual; spikelet axis persistent, glumes and lemmas falling from axis, paleae generally persistent

3. Plants mat-forming; basal portion of stem prostrate, rooting at nodes ..... E. hypnoides

3' Plants generally not mat-forming; basal portion of stem erect, not rooting at nodes

4. Fruit with 1 or both ends truncate; surface checkered, with an evident groove on 1 side ..... E. mexicana

5. Spikelet ovate to oblong, 1.5+ mm wide; inflorescence branches often with scattered glands ..... subsp. mexicana

5' Spikelet linear to lance-linear, ± 1 mm wide; inflorescence not glandular ..... subsp. virescens

4' Fruit variously-shaped, tip rounded; surface smooth, not grooved

6. Plant without conspicuous glands or glandular areas (rarely so in Eragrostis pilosa)

7. Palea deciduous; lower glume < 1/2 lowest floret; lowest inflorescence branches whorled ..... E. pilosa var. pilosa

7' Palea persistent; lower glume > 1/2 lowest floret; inflorescence branches alternate or opposite ..... E. pectinacea

8. Spikelet stalks spreading ..... var. miserrima

8' Spikelet stalks appressed to branches, diverging < 20° ..... var. pectinacea

6' Plant with conspicuous glands or glandular areas on leaf sheath, blade margin, inflorescence axis and branches, spikelet stalk, or lemma keel

9. Inflorescence contracted, 0.5–2 cm wide, 1° branches generally ascending to appressed; spikelets light yellow ..... E. lutescens

9' Inflorescence open to contracted, 2–18 cm wide, 1° branches diverging; spikelets ± green, red-purple, or lead-colored

10. Spikelets 2–4 mm wide; glume and lemma keels glandular; anthers yellow ..... E. cilianensis

10' Spikelets 1.1–2.2 mm wide; glume and lemma keels not glandular; anthers red-brown

11. Anthers 2; spikelet stalks generally with a distal ring of cup-shaped glands; lemma keels sometimes glandular ..... E. minor

11' Anthers 3; spikelet stalks without a distal ring of cup-shaped glands; lemma keels not glandular ..... E. barrelieri


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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