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.



John R. Reeder

Annual, perennial herb, often glandular; glands often wart-like, circular, pitted
Leaf: sheath margin hairy on sides just below collar; ligules ciliate
Inflorescence generally panicle-like, open or dense, sometimes spike-like, often glandular
Spikelet laterally compressed; glumes ± unequal, acute or acuminate, 1(3)-veined; florets 3–many, axis breaking above glumes and between florets (or persistent with glumes and lemmas deciduous, paleas remaining attached or not); lemma keeled or rounded, acute or obtuse, 3-veined, veins generally obvious; palea ± = lemma
Fruit lens-shaped or elliptic, sometimes grooved, generally red-brown
Species in genus: ± 300 species: tropical, warm temp
Etymology: (Greek: eros, love, agrostis, a kind of grass)
Reference: [Koch 1974 Ill Biol Monogr 48:1–74]


E. mexicana (Hornem.) Link

Stem widely spreading to erect, generally 1.5–10 dm, generally with ring of glandular depressions below nodes
Leaf: sheath glabrous or papillate-soft-hairy on upper margins, often with glandular depressions on veins; blade 5–25 cm, 4–7 mm wide, flat, sometimes hairy below, midvein rarely glandular
Inflorescence (5)10–35 cm, open; axis below nodes, branches, spikelet stalks generally sparsely glandular
Spikelet ovoid to linear, gray-green to reddish; glumes ± 2 mm, upper slightly > lower, lanceolate; axis not breaking apart; florets 5–15; lemmas 1.5–2.5 mm, ovate, acute, generally glabrous; palea slightly < lemma, persistent
Fruit pear-shaped, elliptic, or ± rectangular; surface checkered, with shallow to deep groove on side opposite embryo
Ecology: Disturbed, generally open sites
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: to Oklahoma, Texas, S.America


subsp. mexicana

Inflorescence: branches often with scattered glands
Spikelet 1.5+ mm wide, ovoid to oblong
Fruit ± rectangular
Chromosomes: 2n=60
Ecology: Disturbed soils in fields, forest margins, and waste places
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley, South Coast, Western Transverse Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Oklahoma, Texas, n S.America
Synonyms: E. neomexicana Vasey

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