Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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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.

BROMUS

BROME

Dieter H. Wilken and Elizabeth L. Painter

Annual to perennial herb
Leaves basal and cauline; sheath closed, generally hairy; ligule generally < 5 mm, membranous, entire to fringed; blade flat to inrolled
Inflorescence generally panicle-like, open to dense; spikelet stalk generally stiff, rigid
Spikelet strongly compressed to cylindric; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; glumes unequal, generally < lower floret, lower generally 1–3-veined, upper 3–7-veined, back rounded to keeled, tip acute; lemmas faintly 5–9-veined, tip generally 2-toothed, short-pointed to straight-awned from between teeth; palea generally < lemma
Species in genus: ± 150 species: temp worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Stebbins 1947 Contr Gray Herb 165:42–55; Wagnon 1952 Brittonia 7:415–480]
Native species need careful study.

Introduced

B. japonicus Murray

Annual 17–85 cm
Leaf: sheath soft-hairy; blade 1.5–6 mm wide, glabrous to sparsely soft-hairy
Inflorescence 3–26 cm, ± open; branches spreading to ascending, lower sometimes nodding; spikelet stalks thread-like, flexible
Spikelet subcylindric to slightly compressed, generally glabrous; glumes with rounded back, lower 4.5–7 mm, 3–5-veined, upper 5–8 mm, 5–7-veined; florets 3–9; lemma 7–10 mm, generally glabrous, back rounded, faintly 7–9-veined, teeth fused or free, < 1 mm, awn 5–11 mm, straight to slightly curved
Ecology: Open, disturbed places
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: America; native to Eurasia
Flowering time: May–Jul
Synonyms: B. commutatus Schrad
Plants with inflorescence branches nodding and awns slightly curved are uncommon.

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