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.


Kelly W. Allred

Annual, perennial herb, generally cespitose
Stems erect, 1–3
Leaves cauline; sheaths generally < internodes; ligule membranous; blade flat or folded
Inflorescence long-stalked from upper axils, with 2 spike-like branches, branches ± equal, hairy
Spikelets paired; lowest pairs sessile, staminate; upper pairs with lower spikelet sessile, bisexual, upper stalked, staminate or sterile, pairs falling as 1 unit or spikelets breaking below glumes; glumes > lemmas, lanceolate, thinly membranous, hairy; florets 2, lower vestigial, obscure, upper fertile; lemma translucent, awned
Species in genus: 55 species: tropical Africa, Asia
Etymology: (Greek: below masculine, from basal staminate spikelets)


H. hirta (L.) Stapf

Stems ± clumped, 3–10 dm
Leaf: blade 5–30 cm, < 3 mm wide, ± folded or inrolled
Inflorescence: stalk long-soft-hairy, subtended by expanded sheath, blade; branches 2–4 cm
Spikelet 4–6 mm; glumes densely hairy; lemma hairy in upper half, awn 1–3.5 cm
Ecology: Disturbed sites
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast (Los Angeles)
Distribution outside California: native to warm temperate Eurasia, Africa

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