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Stipa pulchra
PURPLE NEEDLE 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: StipaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: NEEDLE GRASS
Habit: Generally perennial herb, tufted or occasionally rhizomatous. Stem: generally erect, generally unbranched at distal nodes, persistent or not. Leaf: basal or cauline, sheaths open, auricles 0, ligules scarious to membranous, generally ciliate, blade flat to inrolled. Inflorescence: generally panicle-like, generally narrow. Spikelet: generally 1-flowered; glumes generally > floret except awn, membranous, flexible, veins 1--10, awns 0; floret 1(6), generally round (compressed) in ×-section; axis breaking between glumes and floret; callus blunt to sharp, glabrous to hairy; lemma membranous to leathery or hardened, glabrous to hairy, obscurely 3--7-veined, margins overlapping or not, tip entire to 2-lobed or forked, occasionally fused into a crown, 1-awned at or near tip (mucronate), awn (0)3--225(300) mm, unbranched, straight to bent or curled, twisted or not, persistent or not; palea < to > lemma, generally flat, glabrous to hairy, veins (0)2(3). Fruit: ovoid to fusiform, beak 0.
Species In Genus: +- 600 species: temperate, tropics, generally +- arid, +- worldwide; many species valuable cattle forage, cordage, some weedy. Etymology: (Greek: stupe or stuppeion, for fiber or cordage, referring to plumose awns of Eurasian species or fibers from especially Stipa tenacissima L.) Note: Floret, lemma lengths and shapes in key and text exclude awn. Many related and some poorly defined genera placed here in a broadly treated genus. Hybrids not rare. 4 waifs in California, Stipa caudata Trin. [Amelichloa caudata (Trin.) Arriaga & Barkworth], Stipa clandestina Hack. [Amelichloa clandestina (Hack.) Arriaga & Barkworth], Stipa plumosa Trin. [Jarava plumosa (Spreng.) S.W.L. Jacobs & J. Everett], Stipa tenuissima Trin. [Nassella tenuissima (Trin.) Barkworth] . Stipa viridula Trin. [Nassella viridula (Trin.) Barkworth], possibly in California but records unclear.
eFlora Treatment Author: J. Travis Columbus, James P. Smith, Jr. & Douglas H. Goldman

Stipa pulchra Hitchc.
NATIVE
Stem: 3.5--10 dm, 1--3.1 mm diam. Leaf: sheaths glabrous to hairy; blade 10--20 cm, 0.8--4.9 mm wide, flat or margins inrolled. Inflorescence: 18--60 cm, open. Spikelet: glumes 12--20 mm, narrowly lanceolate; floret 7.5--11.5 mm; callus 1.8--3.5 mm, sharp; lemma hairy throughout, margin strongly overlapping entire length, crown 0.6--1.1 mm, weakly distinct from lemma, hairs 0.8--1.1 mm, awn 38--100 mm, 0.2--0.4 mm diam, bent 2 ×, persistent; palea 1/4--1/2 × lemma, glabrous, veins 0. Chromosomes: 2n=64.
Ecology: Oak woodland, chaparral, grassland; Elevation: < 1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, n&c SNF, ScV, CW, SCo, ChI, WTR, PR; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
Synonyms: Nassella pulchra (Hitchc.) Barkworth
eFlora Treatment Author: J. Travis Columbus, James P. Smith, Jr. & Douglas H. Goldman
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Citation for this treatment: J. Travis Columbus, James P. Smith, Jr. & Douglas H. Goldman 2016. Stipa pulchra, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=45644, accessed on May 31, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 31, 2016.


Stipa pulchra
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Stipa pulchra
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© 2007 Carol W. Witham
Stipa pulchra
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© 2004 Carol W. Witham
Stipa pulchra
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Stipa pulchra
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© 2004 Carol W. Witham
Stipa pulchra
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Stipa pulchra in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Stipa pulchra:
NW, n&c SNF, ScV, CW, SCo, ChI, WTR, PR;
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.
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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.