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.



Mary E. Barkworth

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes from short rhizomes
Stem decumbent to erect, generally abruptly bent at base
Leaf: sheath glabrous or hairy, short-appendaged or not; blade flat or ± rolled
Inflorescence spike-like, dense; axis breaking apart at nodes in fruit; spikelets 2-ranked, strongly overlapping, 3 per node, spikelets of 2 kinds
Central spikelet bisexual, generally sessile; with 1 stalked or sessile floret; glumes awn-like, generally > floret; lemma awned
Lateral spikelets 2, sterile or staminate, generally short-stalked; with 1 sessile floret; glumes awn-like, > floret, lemma generally awned
Species in genus: 32 species: temp worldwide except Australia
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name for Barley)
Reference: [Baum & Bailey 1990 Canad J Bot 68:2433–2442]


H. marinum Huds. subsp. gussoneanum (Parl.) Thell.


Stem 1–5 dm, bent at base or erect; nodes glabrous
Leaf: basal sheaths ± hairy, appendages < 2 mm or 0; blade 1–6 mm wide
Inflorescence 1.5–7 cm, 5–20 mm wide, green to purple, breaking apart at nodes in fruit; central and lateral spikelets falling together
Central spikelet: glumes 14–26 mm, not flat at base, ± straight with age; floret 5–8 mm; lemma awn 6–18 mm
Lateral spikelets sterile; glumes 10–24 mm, rounded to slightly flat; floret < 5 mm; lemma awn 3–8 mm
Ecology: Dry to moist, disturbed sites
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California (except mtns)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho, Arizona; native to Europe
Flowering time: Apr–Jun
Synonyms: H. hystrix Roth; H. geniculatum All

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