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Elymus smithii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PoaceaeView 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: ElymusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Plant from rhizomes. Stem: 6.5--13 dm, sparsely to densely hairy below inflorescence. Leaf: sheath glabrous or hairy; auricles to 1 mm; ligule 0.4--1.2 mm; blade < 9 mm wide, prominently ribbed. Inflorescence: 7--32 cm; spikelets 1--2 per node, sometimes short-stalked. Spikelet: glumes 8--28 mm, lanceolate, often +- purple, sometimes glaucous; base flat, tapered, awn to 4 mm; florets 2--6; lemma base glabrous, scabrous to hairy near tip; anthers 3.3--7.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=28,42.
Note: A sterile hybrid between Elymus mollis and Elymus triticoides.

Elymus smithii (Rydb.) Gould
Habit: Perennial herb, from rhizomes. Stem: 2--10 dm, erect, glaucous. Leaf: mostly basal, glaucous; auricles 1--2 mm; ligule 0.1 mm, membranous; clasping; blade 2--26 cm, 1--4.5 mm wide, flat, rolled when dry. Inflorescence: 4--17 cm; spikelets 2-ranked, overlapping, 1 per node or sometimes 2 at lower nodes. Spikelet: 5--15 mm; glumes narrowly lanceolate, subequal, <= lower floret, glabrous to rough, tapered from middle to acute tip, 3-veined in lower 1/2, midvein curving slightly to side; florets 4--11; lemma 8--14 mm, glabrous to hairy, awn < 5(15) mm; anthers 2--4.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=56.
Ecology: Uncommon. Dry, alkaline soils, flats; Elevation: 1220--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: n SNH, GB, DMtns (New York Mtns); Distribution Outside California: widespread in United States, to southern Canada. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: A polyploid hybrid, probably involving Elymus lanceolatus and Elymus triticoides.
Synonyms: Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) Á. Löve ex Barkworth & D.R. Dewey; Agropyron smithii Rydb.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr.
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botanical illustration including Elymus smithii


Citation for this treatment: James P. Smith, Jr. Elymus smithii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 22, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 22, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Elymus smithii:
n SNH, GB, DMtns (New York Mtns);
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.