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.



Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek: hare tail, from densely hairy inflorescence)


L. ovatus L.

Annual, generally soft-hairy
Stems ascending to erect, 1–6 dm
Leaves basal and cauline; sheath loosely surrounding stem; ligule membranous, truncate; blade 2–10 cm, 3–10 mm wide, flat, spreading to curving away
Inflorescence spike-like, 1.5–3 cm, ovoid to ± subcylindric, dense; spikelets generally subsessile
Spikelet 7–10 mm (except awns), compressed; glumes equal, > floret, narrowly lanceolate, soft-hairy to plumose, long-tapered; axis breaking apart above glumes, prolonged beyond floret; floret 1; lemma back glabrous, base puberulent, faintly 5-veined, awns 3, 2 from tip < 2 mm, slender, 1 from lemma back 8–20 mm, ± stiff, bent
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Disturbed places
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: s North Coast, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: ne US; native to s Europe
Cult for ornamental.

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