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.



Stems prostrate, ascending, or erect
Leaf: ligule hairy; blade generally short, linear to narrowly lanceolate
Inflorescence panicle-like, dense, cylindric and exserted or head-like and enclosed by enlarged sheaths
Spikelet bisexual, strongly compressed, falling as 1 unit; glumes, lemma acute or short-pointed; glumes < or = floret, generally lanceolate, keeled, strongly 1-veined; floret 1; lemma membranous, 1-veined; palea generally 2-veined, generally splitting with age; stamens generally 3
Species in genus: 8 species: Medit Eur, Asia, c Africa
Etymology: (Greek: concealment, from partly hidden inflorescence)
Reference: [Hammel & Reeder 1979 Syst Bot 4:267–280]


C. alopecuroides (Piller & Mitterp.) Schrad.

Plant generally purple to black
Stems ascending, 5–75 cm; branches few
Leaf: blade 5–12 cm, green or ± glaucous; sheath glabrous
Inflorescence 1.5–6.5 cm, 4–6 mm wide, cylindric
Spikelet 2–3 mm; glume keel hairy, lower glume < upper; lemma generally > glumes; palea 2-veined
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Bottomlands, reservoir and river margins
Elevation: < 800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Inner North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, Central Coast (Marin Co.), East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to Washington, eastern US; native to Europe

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