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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.



M. J. Harvey

Annual or perennial herb, generally tufted, sometimes from rhizomes or stolons
Stems generally erect
Leaf: sheath generally smooth, glabrous; ligule membranous; blade flat to rolled
Inflorescence panicle-like, densely cylindric to openly ovate
Spikelet: glumes generally subequal, back generally glabrous, vein generally finely scabrous, 1-veined, generally acute; floret 1, < glumes, generally breaking above glumes; callus glabrous to densely hairy; lemma generally 5-veined, veins not converging, sometimes extended as short teeth, awned from back or not; palea 0 to ± = lemma, translucent; anthers generally 3
Species in genus: ± 200 species: especially temp Am, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: pasture)
Reference: [Carlbom 1967 PhD OR State Univ]
Some cultivated in pastures, lawns.


A. avenacea J.F. Gmel.

Perennial 15–65 cm
Leaves: ligule 3–5 mm; lower blades 8–20 cm, 1–3 mm wide, generally flat, fine-scabrous
Inflorescence 7–30 cm, widely ovate, open; lower 1° branches spreading, lower 5–15 cm, axes branched above middle, thread-like
Spikelet: glumes 2.8–3.6 mm, back puberulent below middle; floret axis prolonged beyond floret ± 1 mm, short-hairy-tufted; callus hairs < 0.7 mm; lemma ± 2 mm, back puberulent below middle, tip 2-toothed, awned from middle, awn 4–7.5 mm, bent; palea > 1 mm, ± 1/2 X lemma; anther ± 0.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=56
Ecology: Open, often disturbed places
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: s North Coast, s North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, n South Coast
Distribution outside California: to e US, Texas; native to s Pacific islands

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