Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Briza minor

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

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: BrizaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb. Stem: ascending to erect, 5--100 cm. Leaf: basal to cauline; ligule membranous to translucent; blade flat. Inflorescence: erect to pendent, panicle-like, open. Spikelet: +- pendent, +- laterally compressed, subconic to ovoid; glumes subequal, papery, rounded at tip, 3--9-veined; florets 3--19; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; lemma width > length, papery to translucent, rounded at tip, 7--9-veined; palea +- = lemma.
Species In Genus: 10--12 species: Europe, northern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: a kind of grain) Note: Briza media L., a cultivated perennial herb with ligule < 0.5 mm and spikelets 4--6 mm, best treated as waif in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken

Briza minor L.
Habit: Annual. Stem: 8--50 cm. Leaf: ligule 3--13 mm, blade 3--10 mm wide. Inflorescence: erect, 3--20 cm. Spikelet: generally > 15 per inflorescence, triangular to oval, truncate at base; glumes 1.5--4 mm, 3--5-veined; florets 4--6(13); lemmas 1--2 mm, veins indistinct. Chromosomes: 2n=10,14.
Ecology: Shaded or moist, open sites; Elevation: 20--600 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRF, SN, GV, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo, WTR, PR, DSon (Rancho Mirage); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, eastern United States; native to southern and western Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Briza maxima
Next taxon: Bromus

Name Search
botanical illustration including Briza minor


Citation for this treatment: Dieter H. Wilken 2016. Briza minor, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Briza minor
click for enlargement
© 2004 Carol W. Witham
Briza minor
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Briza minor
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Briza minor
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Briza minor
click for enlargement
© 2009 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Briza minor
click for enlargement
© 2004 Carol W. Witham

More photos of Briza minor in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Briza minor:
NW, CaRF, SN, GV, CW (exc SCoRI), SCo, WTR, PR, DSon (Rancho Mirage);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.