Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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


Dieter H. Wilken

Stems erect
Leaves basal and cauline; ligule membranous, obtuse, minutely soft hairy; blade flat, soft hairy
Inflorescence panicle-like, narrow
Spikelet: glumes unequal, keeled, acute, lower 1-veined, upper 3-veined; florets 2, lower > upper, lower generally staminate, upper bisexual, breaking above glumes, falling as 1 unit; callus hairy; lemmas keeled, 5–7-veined, lemma of lower floret awned below middle, awn bent, stiff, upper lemma awnless or awned at tip, awn straight; palea < lemma
Species in genus: 6 species: temp Eur, Asia
Etymology: (Greek: masculine awn, referring to awned staminate floret)


A. elatius (L.) J. Presl & C. Presl

Stem ascending to erect, 7–15 dm, sometimes bulbous at base
Leaf: ligule 1–3 mm, obtuse, minutely ciliate; blade 3–8 mm wide, flat, glabrous to minutely scabrous
Inflorescence 9–25 cm
Spikelet subsessile to stalked; lower glume 4–7 mm, upper 7–10 mm, glume margins translucent, keel soft-hairy; lemmas 6–9 mm, awn of lower lemma 10–17 mm, awn of upper < 4 mm (sometimes 0); palea translucent
Chromosomes: 2n=14,28, 42
Ecology: Disturbed and open sites
Elevation: 30–1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills, c High Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, w US; native to temperate Europe
Cult for stabilizing bare soil. Plants with stems swollen at base have been called subsp. bulbosum (Willd.) Schuebler & Martens.

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bioregional map for ARRHENATHERUM%20elatius being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Arrhenatherum elatius
Retrieve dichotomous key for Arrhenatherum
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