Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



James P. Smith, Jr., except as specified

Annual to bamboo-like; roots generally fibrous
Stem generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid
Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear; 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; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose
Fruit: achene-like grain
Genera in family: 650–900 genera; ± 10,000 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1951 Manual grasses US, USDA Misc Publ 200; Clayton & Renvoise 1986 Kew Bull Add Series 13]
See Glossary p. 26 for illustrations of general family characteristics. Generally wind-pollinated.



Dieter H. Wilken

Perennial with long, thick rhizomes
Stems clumped, stiff, erect
Leaves basal and cauline, erect; ligule membranous, acute; blade inrolled
Inflorescence panicle-like
Spikelets subsessile, laterally compressed, strongly keeled; glumes ± > floret, firmly membranous, obtuse to acuminate, lower generally 1-veined, upper 3-veined; callus hairs long, tufted; floret bisexual, breaking above glumes; lemma firmly membranous, 5–7-veined; palea = lemma, membranous
Species in genus: 4 species: coastal e North America, Eur
Etymology: (Greek: sand loving)


A. arenaria (L.) Link


Stems 5–12 dm
Leaves 4–11 dm; ligules 1–3 cm, acute; blades 2–5 mm wide
Inflorescence 15–30 cm, ± 2 cm wide, cylindric
Spikelet 10–13 mm; callus hairs 2–4 mm; lemma 8–10 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=28
Ecology: Sand dunes
Elevation: < 20 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to n Europe
Cult for dune stabilization, baskets, brooms. Plants from c SCo (Orange Co.) and n CCo (Angel Island), with ligules 1–5 mm, firm, minutely ciliate belong to A. breviligulata Fernald, native to coastal e US.

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