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.



Kelly W. Allred

Perennial, cespitose
Stems erect, branched; nodes generally hairy
Leaves cauline; ligule membranous, minutely ciliate; blade flat or folded
Inflorescence panicle-like with 2 or more spike-like branches, solitary or compactly clustered, partly enclosed in leaf sheaths; axes breaking apart with age; spikelet sessile, subtended by hairy, naked stalk and axis segment, falling with stalk and axis segment as 1 unit
Spikelet: glumes ± = florets, lanceolate, ± translucent; florets 2, lower vestigial, obscure, upper fertile, lemma translucent, awned, palea << lemma or 0; stamens 1–3
Fruit oblong, brownish or purplish
Species in genus: ± 100 species: warm temp, tropical. Some species cultivated for forage, revegetation
Etymology: (Greek: man beard, from hairy staminate spikelets)
Reference: [Campbell 1983 J Arn Arbor 64:171–254]

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