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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.


Thomas Worley

Stem decumbent to erect, 5–45 cm, branched, glabrous; nodes generally purple
Leaf: sheath 1–6 cm; ligule ± 1.5 mm, membranous; blade flat to ± inrolled, ribbed, upper surface scabrous
Inflorescence spike-like, 3–18 cm, rigid, cylindric, straight to strongly curved, breaking at nodes; spikelets alternate, 2-ranked, appressed, embedded in axis, falling with axis segment
Spikelet: glumes 2, edge-to-edge or slightly overlapping, 4–7 mm, lanceolate, keel to 1 side near base or obscure, margin translucent, ± enclosing floret, 5-veined; florets 1–2, bisexual; lemma 3.5–5.5 mm, translucent, 3-veined; palea ± = lemma, translucent
Fruit ± 3.5 mm
Species in genus: 5 species: native to Eur
Etymology: (Greek: scales beside, from glume orientation)
See Hainardia.


P. incurva (L.) C.E. Hubb.


Stem decumbent to erect, 3–35 cm, branched throughout or not
Leaf: sheath 1–4 cm, margin of upper expanded, enclosing lower 1–4 spikelets; blade 1–10 cm, 1–3 mm wide, generally inrolled
Inflorescence 2–15 cm, generally curved, generally twisted; spikelets 3–20
Spikelet: glume keel ± 0.5 mm; floret sometimes cleistogamous; anther 0.5–1 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=32,36, 38,42
Ecology: Disturbed, well-drained soils of salt marshes, generally above highest tide level
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Mexico; native to Europe

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