Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



James P. Smith, Jr., except as specified

Annual to bamboo-like; roots generally fibrous
Stem generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid
Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear; 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; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose
Fruit: achene-like grain
Genera in family: 650–900 genera; ± 10,000 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1951 Manual grasses US, USDA Misc Publ 200; Clayton & Renvoise 1986 Kew Bull Add Series 13]
See Glossary p. 26 for illustrations of general family characteristics. Generally wind-pollinated.



Mary E. Barkworth

Stem generally erect to abruptly bent at base, generally glabrous
Leaf: sheath appendaged; ligule membranous; blade flat, spreading
Inflorescence spike-like, generally cylindric, ± open to dense; spikelets 2-ranked, 1 per node, lower generally vestigial
Spikelet: glumes, lemmas toothed, generally awned; glumes thick, hard, 3+ -veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; lemma firm, flat or rounded, veins parallel, not converging; anthers 1.5–4 mm
Species in genus: 27 species: Medit, sw&c Asia
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for wheat)
Reference: [Kimber & Feldman 1987 Univ of Missouri Spec Rep 353]
Sometimes included in Triticum , wheat.


A. ovata L.

Stem 10–24 cm
Inflorescence 1–3 cm; axis breaking apart in fruit; spikelets not sunken in axis
Spikelet: glumes of lowermost spikelet 2–5-awned, awns 2–3.5 cm; florets generally 5, upper 3 generally sterile; lemma of lower spikelets generally 2-awned; lemma of upper spikelets 3-awned; lemma awns < glume awns
Chromosomes: 2n=28
Ecology: Disturbed fields, roadsides
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges (Mendocino Co.), expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: native to Mediterranean Europe, w Asia

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