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Swallenia alexandrae

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: SwalleniaView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Jason Swallen, American agrostologist, 1903--1991)
eFlora Treatment Author: Hester L. Bell & James P. Smith, Jr.

Swallenia alexandrae (Swallen) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker
Habit: Perennial herb, tufted, from thick, scaly rhizomes; nodes +- woolly. Stem: ascending to erect, branching, 1.5--3.5 dm, stiff, ridged, generally glabrous; sheath open, margin short-hairy. Leaf: generally cauline, awl-like, strongly divergent; ligule +- 1 mm, densely hairy, tufts of soft hairs at collar; blade 5--14 cm, 3--6 mm wide, stiff, sharp-pointed, strongly veined; generally deciduous at collar. Inflorescence: panicle-like, 4--10 cm; branches spike-like, short, appressed; axis short-hairy. Spikelet: < 1.5 cm, persistent; glumes 9--14 mm, +- equal, > florets, wide narrowing to acuminate tip, glabrous, 7--11-veined, awn 0; florets 3--7; lemma 7--9 mm, back rounded, lower margin, mid vein, callus soft-wavy-hairy, 5--7-veined, awn 0; palea +- = lemma, margin hairs like lemma. Fruit: 4 mm, 2 mm wide, falling from floret. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Sand dunes (locally abundant); Elevation: 900--1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: DMoj (Eureka Valley, ne Inyo Co.). Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Synonyms: Ectosperma alexandrae Swallen
eFlora Treatment Author: Hester L. Bell & James P. Smith, Jr.
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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botanical illustration including Swallenia alexandrae


Citation for this treatment: Hester L. Bell & James P. Smith, Jr. 2017. Swallenia alexandrae, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 21, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 21, 2017.

Swallenia alexandrae
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Swallenia alexandrae
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© 2011 Steve Matson
Swallenia alexandrae
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Swallenia alexandrae
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Swallenia alexandrae
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© 1999 California Academy of Sciences
Swallenia alexandrae
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© 2005 Steve Matson

More photos of Swallenia alexandrae in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Swallenia alexandrae:
DMoj (Eureka Valley, ne Inyo Co.).
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.