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.


Stems erect, ± solid in X -section
Leaves generally basal, gray-green; sheath compressed, keeled; ligule membranous, long tapered, entire; blade flat to folded
Inflorescence panicle-like; branches short, ± appressed, dense
Spikelets stalked, paired; pair with subtending axis segment falling as 1 unit; lower spikelet staminate or sterile, upper bisexual; glumes unequal, < lemma, 2–3-veined, awned; floret 1; lemma firm, long-tapered, awned; palea ± = lemma
Species in genus: 3 species: sw US, Mex, South America
Etymology: (Greek: wolf tail, from inflorescence shape)
Reference: [Reeder 1985 Phytologia 57: 283–291]


L. setosus (Nutt.) C.G. Reeder


Perennial, tufted
Stem decumbent to erect, 2–6 dm, compressed, puberulent
Leaf: ligule 3–7 mm, decurrent to sheath; blade 3–10 cm, 1–2 mm wide, margin and midvein ± white
Inflorescence 3–6 cm, ± 5 mm wide, cylindric
Spikelet compressed; glumes 1–2 mm, ± equal, < floret, awns 3–7 mm, lower glume 2-veined, awns 2–3, upper glume 1-awned; floret 1; lemma 3–4 mm, 3-veined, awn 2–7 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=40
Ecology: Joshua-tree woodland, pinyon/juniper woodland
Elevation: ± 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: e Desert Mountains (New York Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to Oklahoma, Mexico
Previously misidentified as L. phleoides Kunth.
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