Directory       News       Site Map       Home
    Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Previous taxon


James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted

Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; sheath generally open; ligule membranous or hairy, at blade base. Inflorescence: various (of generally many spikelets). Spikelet: glumes generally 2; florets (lemma, palea, flower) 1–many; lemma generally membranous, sometimes glume-like; palea generally ± transparent, ± enclosed by lemma. Flower: generally bisexual, minute; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
650–900 genera; ± 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). [Barkworth et al. 2003 FNANM:25; Barkworth et al. 2007 FNANM:24] Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761–770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics. —Scientific Editors: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.
Unabridged references: [Hitchcock 1951 Manual grasses US, USDA Misc Publ 200; Clayton & Renvoise 1986 Kew Bull Add Series 13]

Key to Poaceae


James P. Smith, Jr. & Kelly W. Allred

Perennial herb with thick rhizomes or stolons, forming dense stands. Stem: tall, erect. Leaf: cauline; sheaths open; ligule short, membranous, truncate or hairy; blade flat or folded, generally deciduous. Inflorescence: panicle-like. Spikelet: glumes unequal, lower < upper, 1–3-veined; axis long-soft-hairy; florets 1–10, breaking above glumes and between florets; lower florets sterile or staminate, upper bisexual; lemma lanceolate, glabrous, generally 3–5-veined; palea << lemma; stamens generally 2–3.
1 sp.: cosmopolitan. (Greek: fence, a reference to its growth form) [Allred 2003 FNANM 25:10,12]
Unabridged references: [Saltonstall 2002 Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:2445–2449; Saltonstall, Peterson, & Soreng 2004 Sida 21:683–692; Saltonstall & Hauber 2007 J Bot Res Inst Texas 1:385–388]

P. australis (Cav.) Steud. COMMON REED
Stem: 2–4 m. Leaf: blade generally 20–45 cm, 1–5 cm wide, margins scabrous, generally breaking at collar. Inflorescence: 15–50 cm, plume-like, oblong to obovoid, ± purple to ± white. Spikelet: 10–16 mm; lower glume 3–7 mm, upper glume 5–10 mm; florets 2–10.
2n=36,44,46,48,49–52, 54,72,84,96. Pond and lake margins, sloughs, marshes; generally < 1600 m. California; worldwide. [Phragmites australis var. berlandieri (E. Fourn.) C.F. Reed; Phragmites berlandieri E. Fourn.; Phragmites communis Trin.; Phragmites communis var. berlandieri (E. Fourn.) Fernald] 3 different genetic lineages may occur in California: Phragmites australis subsp. americanus Saltonstall et al. (native), Phragmites australis subsp. berlandieri (E. Fourn.) Saltonstall & Hauber (native), and a 3rd naturalized entity whose taxonomic identity has yet to be determined [Saltonstall & Hauber 2007 J Bot Res Inst Texas 1:385–388]. Jul–Nov [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Perhaps most widely distributed of all seed plants. Recent work suggests that 3 different genetic lineages are present in California: Phragmites australis subsp. americanus Saltonstall et al. (native), Phragmites australis subsp. berlandieri (E. Fourn.) Saltonstall & Hauber (native), and a 3rd naturalized entity whose taxonomic identity has yet to be determined.

Previous taxon: Phragmites
Next taxon: Phyllostachys


Name search

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Phragmites, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

Copyright © 2014 Regents of the University of California
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Phragmites australis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records


CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.