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Ehrharta calycina

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: EhrhartaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: VELDT GRASS
Habit: Annual, perennial herb. Stem: generally erect, 6--200 cm. Leaf: auricle generally ciliate; ligule generally membranous, truncate, irregularly torn; blade flat, linear to lanceolate. Inflorescence: raceme- or panicle-like; branches spreading to erect; spikelets sessile to stalked. Spikelet: 2--17 mm, cylindric or laterally compressed; glumes +- equal to unequal, < to > florets, generally ovate; axis breaking above glumes, falling as 1 unit; florets 3, lower 2 sterile; sterile lemma glabrous or pubescent, firmer than glumes, awned or not, lower generally auricled; palea 0; upper floret bisexual, lemma membranous, becoming hard at maturity, 5--7-veined, awn 0; palea 1--2(5)-veined; stamens 3 or 6 (in California).
Species In Genus: +- 35 species: southern Africa (25 species), New Zealand. Etymology: (J.F. Ehrhart, German botanist, student of Linnaeus, 1742--1795)

Ehrharta calycina Sm.
Habit: Perennial herb, often rhizomatous. Stem: generally 30--75 cm, erect, glabrous. Leaf: sheath generally smooth, +- purple, auricles ciliate; ligules +- 1 mm; blade 5--20 cm, < 1 cm wide. Inflorescence: panicle-like, 5--25 cm, +- open, sometimes nodding or partly enclosed in upper sheaths; spikelets subsessile to stalked, stalk < 5 mm, +- thread-like. Spikelet: 4--8 mm; glumes 3--7 mm, +- equal, > sterile florets, becoming +- purple; sterile lemmas soft-hairy, upper auricled; fertile lemma 5--7-veined, veins glabrous or hairy, awn 0; palea < lemma; stamens 6. Chromosomes: 2n=24--28,30.
Ecology: Sandy soils; Elevation: generally < 500 m. Bioregional Distribution: s NCoRO, s NCoRI, ScV, SCoRO, SW; Distribution Outside California: Texas; native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul Note: Cult for forage, erosion control.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr.
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botanical illustration including Ehrharta calycina


Citation for this treatment: James P. Smith, Jr. 2016. Ehrharta calycina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 23, 2016.

Ehrharta calycina
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Ehrharta calycina
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Ehrharta calycina
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Ehrharta calycina
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Ehrharta calycina
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Ehrharta calycina
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© 2014 Neal Kramer

More photos of Ehrharta calycina in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Ehrharta calycina:
s NCoRO, s NCoRI, ScV, SCoRO, SW;
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).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

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