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.


Stems ascending to erect, 1–5 dm
Leaf: sheath, blade glabrous to ± hairy; ligule membranous, generally acute
Inflorescence panicle-like, open or dense
Spikelet bisexual, compressed; glumes ± equal, < lemma, lower glume 3–7-veined, upper 3–9-veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; florets 2–7; lemma ± leathery, lemma of lower florets short-awned or not; uppermost awned from back, awn bent
Species in genus: 5 species: s Eur, w Asia
Etymology: (Pierre Ventenat, French botanist, 1757–1805)


V. dubia (Leers) Durieu

Stem erect, 1.5–7 dm, puberulent below nodes
Leaf: ligule 1–6 mm; blade 1–3 mm wide
Inflorescence panicle-like, 3–10 cm, open; branches spreading to drooping; spikelets near branch tips, stalked
Spikelet 10–15 mm; glumes lanceolate, acuminate, lower 5–7-veined, upper 7–9-veined; axis generally breaking apart above lowest floret; florets 2–3, lowest generally staminate, persistent to axis, awn straight; upper 1–2 florets bisexual, awn 1–1.5 cm
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Disturbed sites
Elevation: 1200–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges (Siskiyou Co.), n High Sierra Nevada (s Nevada Co.)
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Idaho; native to c&s Europe

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