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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 (rarely achene-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

ELYMUS WILD-RYE, WHEAT GRASS, SQUIRRELTAIL
Annual, perennial herb, rhizomes 0 to well developed. Stem: generally bent at base or erect, generally tufted. Leaf: auricles present, occasionally small, fragile; ligule membranous, truncate to obtuse; blade flat, folded, or rolled. Inflorescence: spike-like (raceme-like or panicle-like), open to dense; axis generally remaining intact with age; spikelets 1–3(7) at all or most nodes, generally ascending. Spikelet: compressed laterally, glumes generally lanceolate to awn-like, occasionally 0, awned from tip or not; florets 1–11; breaking apart above glumes and between florets; lemma generally > glumes, generally rounded, 5–7-veined, tip generally acute to awned, awn straight or curved outward; palea <, =, or > lemma or 0; anthers 3(1), 1–8 mm.
± 235 species: temperate worldwide. (Greek: covered, a reference to grain being tightly covered by palea and lemma) [Barkworth 2007 FNANM 24:283–287, 348–351, 353–369, 373–378] References to number of spikelets per node is best understood as "most, if not all" and best determined by examining nodes in middle of inflorescence. Intergeneric and interspecific hybrids, along with effects of soil moisture on plant growth, render keys even more challenging and frustrating than usual. As treated here, genus includes taxa previously assigned to Agropyron (in part), Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, and Taeniatherum. Elymus ×aristatus Merr., Elymus arizonicus (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Gould, Elymus canadensis L., Elymus interruptus Buckley, Agropyron junceum (L.) P. Beauv. [Thinopyrum junceum (L.) Á. Löve], and Elymus pycnanthus (Godr.) Melderis [Thinopyrum pycnanthum (Godr.) Barkworth] have been reported for California, may occur sporadically, but do not appear to have become naturalized. Intergeneric hybrids involving Hordeum constitute the genus ×Elyhordeum and are cited in species descriptions. Elymus farctus (Viv.) Melderis subsp. boreo-atlanticus (Simonet & Guin.) Melderis [Elytrigia juncea (L.) Nevski subsp. boreo-atlantica (Simonet & Guin.) Hylander] naturalized, under eradication at Oceano Dunes.
Unabridged references: [Barkworth & Dewey 1985 Amer J Bot 72:767–776; Barkworth et al. 2007 FNANM 24:288–343; Carlson 2007 FNANM 24:279–282; Gould 1947 Madroño 9:120–128; Wipff 2007 FNANM 24:257, 258]

Key to Elymus

E. elymoides (Raf.) Swezey SQUIRRELTAIL
NATIVE
Plant cespitose, often glaucous. Stem: erect to decumbent, 1–6.5(8) dm. Leaf: sheath glabrous to densely long-white-hairy; auricles 0–1 mm; ligule < 1 mm; blade (1)2–4(6) mm wide, flat, folded, or rolled. Inflorescence: 2.5–20 cm (except awns), axis breaking apart with age; internodes 3–10 mm; spikelets 2(3) per node. Spikelet: 10–20 mm; glumes 15–125 mm, awn-like, base narrow, thick, generally spreading, entire or split into 2–3 unequal divisions; florets 2–4(5); lemma 6–12 mm, awn 15–120 mm, spreading; palea 6–11 mm, veins sometimes extended as bristles; anthers ± 2 mm.
2n=28. Elymus elymoides subsp. hordeoides (Suksd.) Barkworth doubtfully naturalized. If recognized taxonomically: sporadic hybrids with Elymus trachycaulus assignable to Elymus ×saundersii Vasey (Siskiyou, Modoc cos. to Monterey, Tulare cos.); widespread hybrids with Elymus glaucus assignable to Elymus ×hansenii Scribn.; hybrids with Elymus spicatus assignable to Elymus ×saxicolaPseudelymus saxicola (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey], rarely collected. [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Sitanion hystrix (Nutt.) J.G. Sm.]
Unabridged note: Elymus elymoides subsp. hordeoides (Suksd.) Barkworth reported from Modoc and Siskiyou cos., but not been collected in recent years and doubtfully naturalized. If recognized taxonomically: hybrids with Elymus trachycaulus assignable to Elymus ×saundersii Vasey [Agropyron saundersii (Vasey) Hitchc.], which occurs sporadically from Siskiyou and Modoc cos. southern to Monterey and Tulare cos.; widespread hybrids with Elymus glaucus assignable to Elymus ×hansenii Scribn. [Sitanion hansenii (Scribn.) J.G. Sm.]; hybrids with Elymus spicatus assignable to Elymus ×saxicola Scribn. & J.G. Sm. [Agropyron saxicola (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Piper; × Pseudelymus saxicola (Scribn. & J.G. Sm.) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey], which is rarely collected and questionably persisting. Intergrades with Elymus multisetus.

E. elymoides var. brevifolius (J.G. Sm.) Dorn
NATIVE
Spikelet: glumes entire, awn 50–125 mm; lowest floret fertile, not glume-like; fertile florets 1+; lemma awn 50–105 mm.
Dry, open areas; 450–3500 m. San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges, Modoc Plateau, White and Inyo Mountains, Mojave Desert; to Canada, Great Plains, northern Mexico. [Elymus elymoides subsp. brevifolius (J.G. Sm.) Barkworth] Jul–Aug [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Sitanion longifolium J.G. Sm.]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 18 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Elymus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=58213, accessed on Apr 18 2014

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