Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
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.



Michael Curto

Annual, perennial herb
Stems generally ascending to erect, 2–20 dm, generally tufted, ± solid in X -section
Leaves generally basal; cauline few, ascending or curving away; distal sheath margin and collar glabrous or hairy; ligule < 1 mm, hairy or membranous, fringed; blade flat to inrolled, generally glabrous or scabrous, sometimes short-soft-hairy
Inflorescence terminal, also sometimes axillary, panicle- or spike-like, generally partly enclosed by sheath; branches spreading or appressed
Spikelet < 6 mm, generally pale to gray-green or purplish; glumes generally unequal, upper < or > lemma, membranous to translucent, 1-veined; floret bisexual, generally breaking above glumes; lemma texture generally like glumes, 1(3)-veined; palea < or > lemma
Fruit 1–3 mm, generally falling from floret, generally gelatinous when wet
Species in genus: ± 150 species: Am, Eurasia, Africa
Etymology: (Greek: to throw seed, from deciduous seeds)


S. contractus Hitchc.


Stems tufted, 4–12 dm
Leaf: distal sheath margin glabrous to short-hairy; collar margin glabrous to densely long-hairy; ligule < 1 mm, hairy; blade 4–30 cm, 2–8 mm wide
Inflorescence generally terminal, 1.5–5 dm; base < 1 cm wide, spike-like, cylindric, dense; branches generally < 3 cm
Spikelet 2–3 mm; glumes, lemma keeled; glumes unequal, lower ± 1 mm, ± awl-like, upper > 0.5 X lemma, narrowly lanceolate, acute; lemma 2–3 mm, ovate to narrowly lanceolate, acute; palea ± = lemma; anthers 0.2–1 mm
Fruit ± 1 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Washes, rocky slopes, scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland
Elevation: < 1900 m.
Bioregional distribution: White and Inyo Mountains, e Desert
Distribution outside California: to Colorado, Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: Aug–Oct
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for SPOROBOLUS%20contractus being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Sporobolus contractus
Retrieve dichotomous key for Sporobolus
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California