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Sphenopholis obtusata

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: SphenopholisView Description 

Common Name: WEDGE GRASS
Habit: Annual, perennial herb. Stem: 1 to clumped, erect. Leaf: cauline, glabrous to hairy; ligule +- membranous, obtuse to truncate; blade flat to inrolled. Inflorescence: panicle-like, open to compact; lower branches spreading to erect. Spikelet: subsessile to stalked, +- laterally compressed; glumes unequal, lower < upper, lower linear to lanceolate, 1-veined, upper obovate, 3--5-veined; florets 2--3, bisexual; lemma membranous, rounded on back, compressed at acute to obtuse tip, weakly 5-veined, awned or not; palea < lemma.
Species In Genus: 6 species: North America, Caribbean. Etymology: (Greek: wedge scale, from upper glume shape)
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas F. Daniel & Dieter H. Wilken

Sphenopholis obtusata (Michx.) Scribn.
Habit: Perennial herb (occasionally flowering 1st year). Stem: 2--8 dm. Leaf: sheath glabrous to scabrous; ligule 1--4 mm, tip jagged; blade 5--8 cm, flat. Inflorescence: 4--12 cm, generally erect, compact; lower branches +- ascending. Spikelet: 2--5 mm; lower glume +- 2 mm, +- linear, keel minutely scabrous, acute; upper glume 2--3 mm, widely obovate, obtuse; lemma 2--3 mm, lower > glumes, acute to obtuse. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Wet meadows, streambanks, ponds; Elevation: 240--2870 m. Bioregional Distribution: n SNF (Amador Co.), s SNH (Fresno Co.), ne SCo (Santa Ana River), SnBr, s-c PR (Cuyamaca Mtns), SNE; Distribution Outside California: North America, Caribbean. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas F. Daniel & Dieter H. Wilken
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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botanical illustration including Sphenopholis obtusata


Citation for this treatment: Thomas F. Daniel & Dieter H. Wilken 2017. Sphenopholis obtusata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 23, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 23, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Sphenopholis obtusata:
n SNF (Amador Co.), s SNH (Fresno Co.), ne SCo (Santa Ana River), SnBr, s-c PR (Cuyamaca Mtns), SNE;
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.