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.


Robert Webster

Annual, perennial herb
Stem generally erect; internode solid to hollow inside
Leaves generally cauline; ligule hairy
Inflorescence generally panicle-like, open; branches spreading to ascending; spikelets subsessile to stalked
Spikelet falling as 1 unit; glumes strongly unequal, lower << upper, upper glume silky-hairy; florets 2, lower floret sterile or staminate, lemma ± = upper glume, upper floret fertile, lemma membranous to thick, firm, smooth, ± white in fruit, margin flat, tip blunt, palea ± = lemma
Species in genus: ± 15 species: warm temp, subtropical, se Asia, Africa
Etymology: (Latin: beaked scale, from beaked upper glume in some species)

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