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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.


John R. Reeder

Annual, ± hairy
Stems erect, becoming prostrate
Leaves basal and cauline; collar 0; sheath and blade continuous; basal leaves long, floating when young, becoming dry and non-functional as aerial parts grow; cauline leaf blade flat or inrolled when dry
Inflorescence spike-like, exserted; spikelets 2-ranked
Spikelet laterally compressed; glumes irregularly 2–5-toothed; florets 4–40, breaking above glumes and between florets with age; lemma strongly 5-toothed, each tooth 1/3–1/2+ lemma length, prominent central vein flanked by 2 weaker veins; palea < lemma; anthers white or pinkish, exserted, filaments slender, ribbon-like; stigma 1/3–1/2 style length, ± sparsely short-hairy
Species in genus: 5 species: CA, n Baja CA
Etymology: (C.R. Orcutt, CA botanist, 1864–1929)
Reference: [Reeder 1982 Amer J Bot 69:1082–1095]


O. inaequalis Hoover


Plant cespitose, hairy, grayish
Stem generally erect, sometimes spreading, forming mats, 5–15(25) cm
Leaf: blade 2–4 mm wide
Inflorescence 2–3.5(5) cm, ± head-like; spikelets densely crowded
Spikelet: glumes ± 3 mm, subequal, irregularly toothed; florets 4–20(30); lemma 4–5 mm, teeth ± 1/2 lemma body length, awn-tipped, central tooth >> lateral; palea ± = lemma; anthers ± 2 mm
Fruit ± 1.5 mm, widely elliptic
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Vernal pools
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley (Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, Tulare cos.)
Synonyms: O. californica var. i. (Hoover) Hoover
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for ORCUTTIA%20inaequalis being generated

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