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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

POACEAE

GRASS FAMILY

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.

LEPTOCHLOA

SPRANGLETOP

Annual, perennial herb
Stems spreading to erect
Leaves generally cauline; ligule membranous, ± entire to jagged, sometimes ciliate; blade flat
Inflorescence panicle-like; branches spike-like; spikelets short-stalked or sessile
Spikelets compressed or ± cylindrical; glumes equal or unequal, 1(3)-veined, short-awned or not; axis breaking apart above glumes and between florets; florets generally 2–12; lemma back rounded or keeled, glabrous or hairy, 3-veined, tip obtuse or minutely 2-lobed, awn generally 0; stamens 2 or 3
Species in genus: 40 species: warm temp, tropical
Etymology: (Greek: slender grass, from slender inflorescence)
Reference: [McNeill 1979 Brittonia 31:399–404]

Native

L. uninervia (J. Presl) Hitchc. & Chase

MEXICAN SPRANGLETOP

Annual
Stems erect, sometimes few-branched, 3–10 dm
Leaf: sheath glabrous or scabrous; ligule 2–6 mm, entire to jagged; blade 10–45 cm, 1–4 mm wide
Inflorescence 1–3 dm; branches generally ascending, lower 3–6 cm
Spikelet 5–7 mm, ± cylindric in X -section; glumes 1–2 mm, upper > and wider than lower; florets 6–9; lemma 2–3 mm, back rounded, tip obtuse to truncate, abruptly short-pointed, awn 0
Chromosomes: 2n=20
Ecology: Ditches, drying ponds, disturbed wet places
Elevation: generally < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, Southwestern California, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert
Distribution outside California: to s US, Mexico, S.America
Flowering time: Mar–Dec

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