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Scleropogon brevifolius

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: ScleropogonView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: hard beard, from firm awns)
eFlora Treatment Author: John R. Reeder & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Reeder 2003 FNANM 25:42--43
Unabridged Reference: Reeder & Toolin 1987 Phytologia 62:267--275

Scleropogon brevifolius Phil.
Habit: Perennial herb, from short stolons, mat-like; generally dioecious or monoecious, rarely bisexual. Stem: erect, 1--2 dm. Leaf: generally basal, densely tufted; sheath smooth; ligule short-hairy; blade 2--8 cm, 1--3 mm wide, flat, firm, sharp-pointed. Staminate Inflorescence: 3--7 cm, raceme- or panicle-like. Pistillate Inflorescence: 10--20 cm, spike-like. Staminate Spikelet: 1--2.5 cm, compressed; glumes 3--8 mm, +- equal, lanceolate, 1(3)-veined, awn 0; axis breaking above glumes and falling as 1 unit; florets 5--10(20); lemma +- = glumes, 3(5)-veined, short-awned. Pistillate Spikelet: 8--15 cm including awns; body except awns +- cylindric, generally subtended by 1 bract; bract +- = lower glume; glumes 3-veined, acute, awn 0, lower glume 1--2 cm, upper 1.5--3 cm; axis breaking above glumes and +- between florets; florets 3--5, lower with sharp-pointed callus, upper reduced to awns; lemma 7--11 mm, narrow, awns 3, 6--12 cm, +- spreading to ascending. Chromosomes: 2n=40.
Ecology: Open creosote-bush scrub; Elevation: +- 1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: e DMtns (New York Mtns); Distribution Outside California: to Colorado, Texas, Mexico, western South America. Flowering Time: Sep--Oct
eFlora Treatment Author: John R. Reeder & Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Reeder 2003 FNANM 25:42--43
Unabridged Reference: Reeder & Toolin 1987 Phytologia 62:267--275
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botanical illustration including Scleropogon brevifolius


Citation for this treatment: John R. Reeder & Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Scleropogon brevifolius, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 18, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 18, 2018.

Geographic subdivisions for Scleropogon brevifolius:
e 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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.