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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
Leaves generally basal and cauline; sheaths < internodes; ligule short, densely ciliate; blades narrow, flat to folded
Inflorescence generally raceme-like (sometimes panicle-like or spikelet 1)
Spikelets ± laterally compressed; glumes ± equal, > florets, papery, 1–5-veined; florets 3–8, breaking above glumes and between florets; callus short-hairy; lemma rounded, 7–9-veined, tip 2-toothed, awned on back below teeth; awn generally bent, flat, coiled below bend, straight, ± cylindric above bend, palea = lemma
Fruit elliptic
Species in genus: 20 species: warm temp, tropical, Am, Eur, s Africa
Etymology: (E. Danthoine, France, early 19th century)
Variation, especially in D. californica, D. unispicata , complex, needs critical study.


D. unispicata (Thurb.) Macoun


Stem 1–3 dm
Leaves basal and cauline, densely hairy, papillate at base; upper blades 3–8 cm, flat to ± inrolled, ascending
Spikelets generally 1 sometimes 2–4; stalk erect, puberulent; glumes 9–25 mm; florets 3–6; lemmas 6–14 mm, margin hairy, teeth 1–5 mm, awn 4–9 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Dry meadows, rocky slopes, open sites in coniferous forest
Elevation: 900–3200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to w Canada, w US
Horticultural information: DRN, SUN, IRR: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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