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
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit 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.


Susan G. Aiken and Robert I. Lonard

Stems < 8 dm, solitary or loosely clumped, ascending to erect, unbranched
Leaves generally cauline; sheath < internode; ligule < 1 mm, membranous, minutely fringed; blade < 15 cm, 0.5–2.5 mm wide, flat or rolled when dry; basal lobes 0
Inflorescence panicle-like, narrow, dense or open
Spikelet: glumes unequal, lanceolate, lower sometimes minute, upper 3-veined; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; florets 2–10, generally cleistogamous; lemma back round, 3–5-veined, awn < 22 mm, straight; palea ± = lemma, tip forked; stamen generally 1, < 1 mm; ovary tip glabrous
Fruit 3–6.5 mm, ± linear, ± sticking to palea
Etymology: (J.S. Vulpius, pharmacist-botanist of Baden, Germany)
Reference: [Lonard & Gould 1974 Madroño 22:217–230]
Horticultural information: STBL.


V. microstachys (Nutt.) Munro

Stem 1.5–7.5 dm, glabrous
Inflorescence 2–24 cm, ± open, at least lower branches spreading or reflexed; branches 1 per node, < 7 cm; spikelet stalk angular
Spikelet 5.5–10 mm; lower glume 2–5.5 mm, upper 3.5–7.5 mm; florets 2–4; lemma 4–9.5 mm, awn 3.5–12 mm
Fruit ± 4–6 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=42
Ecology: Disturbed, open, generally sandy soils
Elevation: generally < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Idaho, Baja California


var. confusa (Piper) Lonard & Gould

Spikelet: glumes hairy; lemma glabrous
Ecology: Uncommon. Coastal-sage scrub, yellow-pine forests, grassy plains, dry hillsides
Elevation: generally < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Washington
Synonyms: Festuca c. Piper, F. tracyi C.L. Hitchc

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bioregional map for VULPIA%20microstachys%20var.%20confusa being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Vulpia microstachys var. confusa
Retrieve dichotomous key for Vulpia
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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