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.



Mary E. Barkworth

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes from short rhizomes
Stem decumbent to erect, generally abruptly bent at base
Leaf: sheath glabrous or hairy, short-appendaged or not; blade flat or ± rolled
Inflorescence spike-like, dense; axis breaking apart at nodes in fruit; spikelets 2-ranked, strongly overlapping, 3 per node, spikelets of 2 kinds
Central spikelet bisexual, generally sessile; with 1 stalked or sessile floret; glumes awn-like, generally > floret; lemma awned
Lateral spikelets 2, sterile or staminate, generally short-stalked; with 1 sessile floret; glumes awn-like, > floret, lemma generally awned
Species in genus: 32 species: temp worldwide except Australia
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for Barley)
Reference: [Baum & Bailey 1990 Canad J Bot 68:2433–2442]


H. murinum L.

Stem 1–11 dm, erect, sometimes ± prostrate; nodes glabrous
Leaf: basal sheaths glabrous to ± hairy, appendages 1–4 mm; blade 2–5 mm wide, glabrous, scabrous or sparsely long-hairy
Inflorescence 3–8 cm, 7–16 mm wide, green to glaucous, sometimes reddish or brown in fruit
Central spikelet: glumes 11–25 mm, flattened at base, generally ciliate; floret 8–14 mm; lemma awn 20–40 mm
Lateral spikelets: glumes 11–35 cm, base flattened; floret 8–15 mm; lemma awn 20–50 mm
Ecology: Moist, generally disturbed sites
Elevation: generally < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, e US, n Mexico; native to Europe


subsp. murinum

Winter annual
Stem 3–6 dm
Inflorescence green
Central spikelet sessile or subsessile; stalk < 0.5 mm; floret generally = lateral florets; lemma awn slightly < awn of lateral floret
Chromosomes: 2n=28
Ecology: Habitat and range of sp
Bioregional distribution: California

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