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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.



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. vaginiflorus (A. Gray) A.W. Wood


Stems 1–several, tufted, 2–8 dm; base bent abruptly
Leaves equally basal and cauline; sheath becoming straw-colored or purplish; sheath, collar margins generally hairy, hairs < 5 mm, swollen at base; ligule < 0.5 mm, densely hairy; blade 2–10 cm, 1–3 mm wide, scabrous
Inflorescence terminal, ± axillary, 1–5 cm, 2–3 mm wide, partly or completely enclosed by sheath; branches appressed
Spikelet 3–6 mm; glumes, lemmas rounded to keeled, glumes 2–5 mm, subequal, narrowly lanceolate, acute; lemma 3–6 mm, narrowly lanceolate, tip beaked; palea = or 2 mm > lemma; anthers < 3 mm
Fruit ± 2–3 mm, not gelatinous when wet
Chromosomes: 2n=54
Ecology: Open, generally sandy, disturbed areas
Elevation: < 600 m.
Bioregional distribution: e Klamath Ranges (nw Shasta Co.), n High Sierra Nevada (Grass Valley, Truckee Canyon)
Distribution outside California: native to c&e US, Mexico

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