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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.



Riccardo M. Baldini

Annual, perennial herb, cespitose or from vigorous rhizomes. Stem: generally erect, occasionally prostrate, 1–25 dm. Leaf: sheath open, glabrous, occasionally recurved; ligule membranous, glabrous, entire, acuminate or truncate; blade generally 2–5 dm, 1–2.5 cm wide, flat. Inflorescence: panicle, generally ovoid to cylindric, dense, occasionally interrupted; branches ascending to appressed. Spikelet: generally fertile, occasionally also sterile, laterally compressed, pedicelled; glumes equal, > and enclosing lemmas, glabrous to pubescent, awn 0, keeled, keel generally winged, > florets, 3–5-veined, wings generally entire; 3-flowered, lower florets 1–2 vestigial or 0 reduced to rudimentary lemma, generally awl-shaped, to 1/2 fertile flower, occasionally scale-like, lower occasionally reduced to a vestigial knob, upper 1 flower fertile, bisexual, lemma generally lanceolate to ovate, glabrous or silky-hairy, faintly 5-veined, awn 0; palea ± = lemma, hairy, translucent; stamens 3; anthers 0.5–4 mm; stigmas 2, plumose. Fruit: plump, ± fusiform.
± 22 species: temperate North America, Eurasia, Central America, South America. (Greek: grass with shiny spikelets) [Barkworth 2007 FNANM 24:764–773]

Key to Phalaris

1. Spikelets in clusters, lower 4–7 spikelets in each cluster with a staminate terminal floret

2. Perennial herb; fertile spikelet surrounded by 6–7 staminate (or sterile) spikelets; panicle ovate; sterile lemma 0.5–0.7 mm ..... P. coerulescens

2' Annual; fertile spikelet surrounded by 5–6 abortive, club-shaped spikelets; panicle generally obovate; sterile lemma 0.2–0.4 mm ..... P. paradoxa

1' Spikelets borne singly, all spikelets with a bisexual terminal floret

3. Glume keels not or narrowly winged

4. Annual; fertile lemma lanceolate to ovoid, hairy except tip, tip ± beaked ..... P. lemmonii

4' Perennial herb; fertile lemma lanceolate, tip acute, ± sparsely hairy

5. Panicle lanceolate, branched, lobed, occasionally ± purple; glumes 4–5 mm; fertile lemma 2.5–4 mm, sterile lemma 1.5–2 mm ..... P. arundinacea

5' Panicle generally ovoid, not lobed, ± purple; glumes generally 6–8 mm; fertile lemma 3.5–5 mm, sterile lemma 2.5–3.5 mm ..... P. californica

3' Glume keels broadly winged

6. Keel wing entire to irregularly toothed, sterile lemma 1, 0.3–1.5 mm, awl-like ..... P. minor

6' Keel wing entire, sterile lemmas generally 2, up to 4 mm, not awl-like

7. Glumes scabrous; panicle narrowly cylindric, base truncate, occasionally interrupted, fertile lemma generally 2–3.5 mm ..... P. angusta

7' Glumes glabrous to hairy, not scabrous

8. Perennial herb; glumes generally 4–5 mm ..... P. aquatica

8' Annual; glumes generally (4)6–10 mm

9. Sterile lemmas 1/5 fertile lemma, ± fleshy to corky ..... P. brachystachys

9' Sterile lemma 1/2 fertile lemma, not fleshy

10. Sterile lemma scale-like, 2–4 mm ..... P. canariensis

10' Sterile lemma feathery, 1.5–2 mm ..... P. caroliniana


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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