Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

POACEAE

GRASS FAMILY

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.

ARISTIDA

THREE-AWN

Kelly W. Allred

Annual, perennial herb, cespitose
Stem ascending to erect
Leaves basal and cauline; basal often tufted; ligule hairy; blades flat or inrolled
Inflorescence raceme-like or panicle-like; branches spike-like
Spikelet: glumes narrowly lanceolate, thin, 1-veined, awn generally 0; floret 1, breaking above glumes; lemma ± fusiform, hard when mature, 3-veined, tip beak-like or not, awned at tip, awns 3, equal or unequal; palea < lemma, enclosed by lemma, transparent
Fruit narrowly fusiform
Species in genus: ± 300 species: worldwide, arid warm temp. Some species noxious
Etymology: (Latin: awn)
Reference: [Allred 1992 Great Basin Nat 52:41–52]

Native

A. californica Thurber var. californica

CALIFORNIA THREE-AWN

Perennial, ± bushy
Stem much-branched, generally 1–4 dm, densely hairy
Leaf: sheath << internodes; blade < 5 cm, generally inrolled
Inflorescence 2–6 cm
Spikelet: lower glume 4–8 mm, upper 9–12 mm; lemma 5–7 mm, narrow beak at tip 8–26 mm, awns 2–4.5 cm, beak and awns breaking from lemma
Chromosomes: 2n=22
Ecology: Dry sandy sites, scrub
Elevation: < 150 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: Arizona, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Apr–May
Horticultural information: TRY.

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