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.



Robert Webster

Annual, perennial herb
Stems: internode solid to spongy inside
Leaves basal and cauline; sheath generally smooth; ligule short-hairy or membranous, ciliate; blade flat or folded
Inflorescence: main axis straight or wavy; spikelets in groups of 1(–8), generally enclosed by bur-like involucre, bracts bristle- or spine-like, fused; involucre and enclosed spikelets falling as 1 unit; spikelet sessile to ± embedded in short axis
Spikelet ± compressed; glumes strongly unequal, lower 1-veined, upper ± = florets; florets 2, lower floret sterile or staminate, lemma generally 5-veined, palea generally present, upper floret fertile, lemma thick, ± hard, palea ± = lemma
Species in genus: ± 20 species: warm temp Am, Africa, s Asia
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Delisle 1963 Iowa State Coll J Sci 37:259–351]


C. longispinus (Hack.) Fernald


Stem 1–6 dm
Leaf: sheath 2.5–8 cm; ligule ± 1 mm; blade 4–12 cm, 2.5 mm wide, upper surface glabrous
Inflorescence 3–5 cm; main axis wavy; involucre bracts 50–75, fused
Spikelet ± 6–7.5 mm, 2–3 mm wide, lanceolate to ovate, green; lower glume 1.5–4 mm, upper 4.5–6 mm; lower floret staminate, lemma acute
Chromosomes: 2n=34
Ecology: Disturbed places, fields
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, South Coast, Modoc Plateau (Lassen Co.), Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: native to c&e US
Flowering time: Jul–Sep
Synonyms: C. pauciflorus Benth. misapplied

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