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Vascular Plants of California
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Bouteloua gracilis
BLUE GRAMA


Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: GRASS FAMILY
Habit: Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; 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; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
Genera In Family: 650--900 genera; +- 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). Note: Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761--770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.
Genus: BoutelouaView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Common Name: GRAMA
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, generally cespitose. Stem: solid, generally glabrous. Leaf: generally basal; ligule generally < 1 mm, generally hairy; blade flat to inrolled, adaxial surface generally puberulent or short-hairy, often ciliate near ligule, hairs long, bulbous-based. Inflorescence: generally panicle-like; branches spike-like, 1 per node, persistent or deciduous in fruit; spikelets 2-rowed on 1 side of axis, overlapping. Spikelet: sessile or short-stalked, +- cylindric to laterally compressed; glumes generally unequal, generally lanceolate, 1-veined, upper glume firmer than lower; axis (if inflorescence branch persistent) breaking between glumes and lower floret; florets generally 2--3, lower floret bisexual, > upper, upper floret(s) generally reduced, sterile; lemma 3-veined, generally 3-awned, awns straight, scabrous; palea +- = lemma.
Species In Genus: 57 species: America. Etymology: (Claudio (b. 1774) and Esteban (b. 1776) Boutelou, Spanish botanists, horticulturists) Note: Many species important for forage.
eFlora Treatment Author: J. Travis Columbus
Reference: Columbus 1999 Aliso 18:61--65
Bouteloua gracilis (Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb, generally short-rhizomed. Stem: ascending to erect, 1--6 dm. Leaf: blade < 15 cm, < 2 mm wide. Inflorescence: branches 1--3, 10--50 mm, spreading to appressed, persistent in fruit; branch axis terminated by vestigial spikelet, base hairy; spikelets 20--80 per branch, spreading to ascending, breaking apart between glumes and lower floret. Spikelet: upper glume 3.5--6 mm, generally with long, bulbous-based hairs on vein, acute or awned < 0.5 mm; florets 2--3; lower floret lemma +- = upper glume, base hairy-tufted, back hairy, tip 2-lobed, awns 1--3 mm, unequal, central awn from sinus; base of middle or, if only 2 florets, upper floret hairy-tufted, lobed between awn bases, awns 2.5--6 mm, +- equal; uppermost floret (if present) < 2 mm, awn 0. Chromosomes: 2n=20,21,28,35,40,42,60,61,77,84.
Ecology: Sandy to rocky slopes, flats, drainages, scrub, woodland, pine forest; Elevation: < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnBr, e DMtns (Mid Hills, Clark Mtn Range, Ivanpah, New York mtns), waif elsewhere; Distribution Outside California: to southern Canada, eastern United States, southern Mexico, Argentina. Flowering Time: May--Oct
Jepson eFlora Author: J. Travis Columbus
Reference: Columbus 1999 Aliso 18:61--65
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Botanical illustration including Bouteloua gracilis

botanical illustration including Bouteloua gracilis

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Citation for this treatment: J. Travis Columbus 2012, Bouteloua gracilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=15978, accessed on November 13, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on November 13, 2019.

Bouteloua gracilis
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Bouteloua gracilis
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Bouteloua gracilis
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Bouteloua gracilis
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© 2008 Thomas Stoughton
Bouteloua gracilis
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Bouteloua gracilis
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© 2015 Keir Morse

More photos of Bouteloua gracilis in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Bouteloua gracilis:
SnBr, e DMtns (Mid Hills, Clark Mtn Range, Ivanpah, New York mtns), waif elsewhere
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.