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.



Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb
Stems generally solitary, erect
Leaves cauline; ligule membranous; blade flat to folded
Inflorescence panicle-like
Spikelet laterally compressed; glumes << floret, scale-like; floret 1, bisexual, breaking above glumes or not; lemma, palea firmly membranous; lemma 5-veined, small-pointed or rigidly awned at tip; palea ± = lemma; stamens 6
Species in genus: ± 20 species: tropical worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: rice)
Cult for food. Spikelet also has been interpreted as 1 floret subtended by 2 scale-like, sterile lemmas and 2 minute, flap-like glumes.


O. sativa L.

Stem 4–15(20) dm
Leaf: sheath generally glabrous; ligule 4–10 mm, acute; blade 15–35 cm, 3–11 mm wide, glabrous to minutely scabrous
Inflorescence 12–25 cm; branches ascending
Spikelet elliptic; glumes equal, ± 3 mm, linear-lanceolate; lemma, palea 5–7 mm, distally sharp-bristly; lemma small-pointed to awned, awn (3)7–20 mm
Ecology: Wet sites, ditches
Elevation: < 70 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley
Distribution outside California: to s US, Mediterranean; native to se Asia

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