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Eriochloa contracta
PRAIRIE CUP GRASS

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: EriochloaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CUP GRASS
Habit: Annual [perennial herb]. Stem: decumbent to erect. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath glabrous or hairy; ligule generally < 1 mm, membrane hairy-fringed; blade generally flat. Inflorescence: panicle-like, +- dense; 1° branches spreading to appressed; 2° branches appressed; spikelets many, 1--2 per node, short-stalked to subsessile, on one side of axis. Spikelet: lanceolate, +- dorsally compressed, generally green, falling as 1 unit; glumes strongly unequal, lower glume generally 0, fused to spikelet base to form a disk- or cup-like ring between stalk and upper glume, upper glume +- = spikelet; florets 2, lower floret sterile, generally acuminate, palea 0, upper floret fertile, lemma firm or hard, generally wrinkled, margin inrolled, tip short-pointed to awned.
Species In Genus: +- 30 species: warm temperate, tropics, worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: woolly grass) Note: Eriochloa villosa (Thunb.) Kunth reported from Sonoma Co. as germinating from birdseed. Report of Eriochloa fatmensis (Hochst. & Steud.) Clayton in northern D not verified.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Webster

Eriochloa contracta Hitchc.
NATURALIZED
Stem: 2--10 dm; nodes 2--5. Leaf: sheath 4--8 cm, glabrous to short-hairy; blade generally 8--12 cm, 2--8 mm wide, generally short-hairy adaxially. Inflorescence: main axis 6--20 cm; 1° branches 1.5--4.5(6) cm; spikelets generally 1 per node; stalk <= 1 mm. Spikelet: 3.5--4.5 mm, +- 1--2 mm wide, becoming purple; lower glume +- = spikelet; glume awn 0.4--1 mm; lower floret lemma 3--7-veined; upper floret lemma awn slightly < 1 mm.
Ecology: Seasonal streams; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, SW, DSon; Distribution Outside California: native to central and southern United States. Flowering Time: Aug--Oct
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Webster
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Citation for this treatment: Robert Webster 2016. Eriochloa contracta, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=24652, accessed on February 11, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on February 11, 2016.


Eriochloa contracta
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Eriochloa contracta
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Eriochloa contracta
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Eriochloa contracta
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Eriochloa contracta
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson

More photos of Eriochloa contracta in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Eriochloa contracta:
GV, SW, DSon;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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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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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.