Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

POACEAE

GRASS FAMILY

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.

ALOPECURUS

FOXTAIL

William J. Crins

Annual, perennial herb, cespitose or from stolons
Stem decumbent to erect, 1–8 dm; nodes visible, brown
Leaves: ligule 1–6 mm, membranous, truncate to acute, generally scabrous; blade flat, glabrous or scabrous
Inflorescence panicle-like, generally cylindric, dense; branches short
Spikelet ± compressed, breaking below glumes, falling as 1 unit; glumes ± equal, generally = spikelet, membranous, generally keeled, keel and lateral veins generally stiff- or appressed-hairy, margins free or fused near base, tip obtuse, acute, or short-awned, 3-veined; floret 1; lemma membranous, margins keeled, sometimes fused near base, truncate to acute, 3–5-veined, awned on back below middle, awn straight or abruptly bent generally at lemma tip; palea generally 0; anthers 0.5–4 mm
Fruit glabrous
Species in genus: ± 35 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: fox tail)
Reference: [Rubtzoff 1961 Leafl West Bot 9:165–180]

Introduced

A. myosuroides Huds.

Annual
Stem 4–4.5 dm
Leaf: ligule 4.5–6 mm; blade 8–11 cm, 3.5–6 mm wide
Inflorescence 7–10 cm, 4–7 mm wide
Spikelet: glumes 4.5–5.5 mm, glabrous except keel ciliate at base; lemma awn bent, exceeding lemma body by 3–4 mm; anthers ± 4 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=14,28
Ecology: Pastures
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to Eurasia
Cult for forage but not very successful in CA.

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