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.



Susan G. Aiken

Perennial, generally cespitose, generally ± glabrous; bisexual, dioecious in F. kingii
Stem erect
Leaves ± basal; sheath generally persisting; collar generally glabrous; ligule generally < 1 mm, membranous, truncate, minutely fringed; blade flat or rolled, basal lobes generally 0
Inflorescence panicle-like; branches dense and appressed to open and spreading
Spikelet: glumes < lowest floret, unequal, lower 1–3-veined, upper 3–5-veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets, florets 2–10, generally bisexual; lemma base generally glabrous, 5-veined (rarely 3- or 7-veined), not converging at tip; awn generally terminal, straight, glabrous; palea ± = lemma; stamens 3
Fruit free from palea, generally beakless
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
Reference: [Frederiksen 1982 Nord J Bot 2:525–536]


F. kingii (S. Watson) Cassidy

Dioecious; rhizomes short
Stems 3–8 dm, tufted; nodes visible
Leaf: sheath glabrous to densely hairy, conspicuously persisting, generally reddish brown with age; ligule 0.5–3.5 mm, back puberulent; blade 3–30 cm, 1.5–7 mm wide, ± flat, stiffly erect, glaucous
Inflorescence: branches appressed, some with spikelets near base
Staminate spikelet 5–10(12) mm; lower glume 3–5.5 mm, upper 4–6.5 mm; florets 2–5; lemma 5–8 mm, finely scabrous, awn 0; anthers 3.5–5 mm; pistil reduced or 0
Pistillate spikelet 5–8 mm; lower glume 3–5 mm, upper 3.5–6 mm; florets 2–5; lemma 5–8 mm, finely scabrous, awn 0; stamens sterile or 0; ovary tip hairy
Fruit plump, minutely beaked
Chromosomes: 2n=56
Ecology: Dry, sandy places, sagebrush plains to subalpine forest
Elevation: > 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: s High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, Great Plains
Flowering time: Jun–Aug
Synonyms: Hesperochloa kingii (S. Watson) Rydb.; Leucopoa k. (S. Watson) W.A. Weber
Horticultural information: TRY.

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