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.



Mary E. Barkworth

Perennial; rhizomes, corms generally 0
Stems generally erect, generally densely clumped
Leaves ± basal; sheath closed to near top, glabrous to short-hairy; ligule thin, membranous, tip obtuse to truncate, generally jagged; blade generally 2–5 mm wide, flat, veins inconspicuous
Inflorescence raceme- or panicle-like, generally narrow
Spikelet: glumes papery, back rounded, tip rounded, translucent, lower glume 3–5-veined, upper 1–3-veined; axis generally breaking above glumes; lower florets fertile, 1–7, uppermost florets sterile, ± densely clustered at axis tip; lemma ± like glumes, prominently 5–7-veined, veins not converging, base ± red; palea < lemma
Species in genus: ± 80 species: generally temp, except Australia
Etymology: (Latin: honey, or old Italian name for plant with sweet sap)
Reference: [Boyle 1945 Madroño 8:1–26]


M. spectabilis Scribn.


Rhizomes short to long; corms short-stalked, scattered
Stem 0.5–10 dm
Leaf: ligule 1–3 mm
Inflorescence 5–26 cm, generally narrow
Spikelet 7–19 mm; glumes 3.5–7 mm, ± equal, < 1/2 spikelet length, obtuse; fertile florets 3–7, sterile cluster ± 2.5 mm, tapered, generally concealed; lemma 6–9 mm, generally widest above middle, acute to obtuse
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Wet sites, meadows, coniferous forest
Elevation: 1200–2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, n North Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Rocky Mtns
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for MELICA%20spectabilis being generated

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