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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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POACEAE (Gramineae) GRASS FAMILY

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

SPARTINA CORD GRASS

John R. Baird & John W. Thieret

Perennial herb, generally with rhizomes. Stem: erect, unbranched. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath open, > internodes, glabrous, margin of sheath opening sometimes with long, shaggy hairs; ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.5–2 mm; blade flat to inrolled, long tapered, upper surface ridged. Inflorescence: panicle-like; each spike-like branch with 2 rows of overlapping spikelets on lower side of axis. Spikelet: laterally compressed, sessile, breaking below glumes, falling as 1 unit; glumes firmly membranous, obtuse to acuminate or with a small, sharp point, unequal, upper 1–3(5)-veined, generally > floret, lower 1-veined, < floret; floret 1; lemma 1(3)-veined, acute, awned or not, firmly membranous; palea ± = lemma, 2-veined. Fruit: achene-like, seed free from thin ovary wall.
15 species: America, Europe, Africa. (Greek: a cord) [Ayres et al. 2003 Madroño 50:209–213] Spartina anglica C.E. Hubb <Noxious weed> introduced to San Francisco Bay Area (Creekside Park, Marin Co.).
Unabridged references: [Spicher & Josselyn 1985 Madroño 32:158–167]

Key to Spartina

S. alterniflora Loisel. SALT-WATER CORD GRASS
NATURALIZED
Rhizome 4–7 mm wide, short, stout. Stem: 1 or in small clumps, 6–25 dm, base 5–14 mm wide, thick, internodes fleshy. Leaf: blade 20–55 cm, base 4–25 mm wide, flat when fresh or inrolled near tip; ridges on upper surface ± 6 per mm. Inflorescence: ± open, 10–40 cm, 7–22 mm wide; branches 5–30, loosely overlapping, loosely appressed or spreading (to 10°–20°), 4.5–13 cm, 3–5 mm wide. Spikelet: 8–15 mm; glume, lemma keels glabrous to softly shaggy-hairy; lower glume 4–10 mm; upper glume 8–15 mm; lemma 7.5–11 mm.
2n=56,70. Coastal salt marshes; < 10 m. Central Coast (San Francisco Bay); native to eastern North America. Will likely spread unless eradicated; aggressive hybrids with Spartina foliosa have been reported in San Francisco Bay. Jul–Sep {Noxious weed} [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Dec 18 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Spartina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=45038, accessed on Dec 18 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Spartina alterniflora 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.
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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).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

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