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.


Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb
Stems erect
Leaves basal to cauline; ligule membranous, glabrous to minutely ciliate, toothed at obtuse to truncate tip; blade narrow, flat to inrolled
Inflorescence panicle-like, generally compact, narrow
Spikelet laterally compressed; glumes unequal, upper > and wider than lower, keeled, acute, lower 1-veined, upper faintly 3–5-veined; axis prolonged beyond fertile floret, bristly (sometimes with vestigial floret at tip); florets 2–5, bisexual, breaking above glumes and between florets; lower lemmas generally > glumes, awned or not, 5-veined; palea ± < lemma, tip minutely 2-forked
Species in genus: ± 30 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (G.L. Koeler, Germany, born 1765)


K. phleoides (Vill.) Pers.

Stems 1–6(15), 5–40 cm, glabrous
Leaves basal and cauline; basal loosely tufted, with soft to coarse hairs on back and margins; ligule < 1 mm; blade 1–5 cm, 1–2 mm wide, smooth to ridged
Inflorescence 8–30 cm, 4–10 mm wide, cylindric, axis and branches glabrous
Spikelet 3–4 mm, green to tan; glumes and lower lemmas papillate to coarse-hairy on back; lower glume ± 2 mm, upper ± 3 mm; lemmas 2–3 mm, lemmas awned at tip, lower lemma awn 1–2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=26
Ecology: Open, disturbed sites
Elevation: < 350 m.
Bioregional distribution: Inner North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Great Central Valley, s Outer South Coast Ranges, Inner South Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: to Washington, s US; native to Mediterranean

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