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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 and Elizabeth Painter

Annual, perennial herb
Stems erect, solitary to densely clumped
Leaves basal to cauline; ligule narrow, decurrent to sheath, glabrous to minutely hairy; blades flat to inrolled
Inflorescence panicle- to spike-like, open to narrow
Spikelet: glumes and lemmas shiny; glumes equal to ± subequal, > lower floret; axis prolonged beyond upper floret, bristly (sometimes with vestigial floret at tip); florets 1–3, bisexual, breaking above glumes and between florets; callus soft-hairy; lemmas rounded, 2–4-toothed at truncate tip, faintly 3–7-veined, awned at or below middle, awn straight to bent; palea ± = lemma
Species in genus: 30–40 species: temp Am, Eurasia, New Zealand, Antarctica
Etymology: (J. L-Deslongchamps, France, born 1774)


D. atropurpurea (Wahlenb.) Scheele


Stems densely clumped, 1.5–6 dm
Leaves basal and cauline; basal tufted, generally glabrous; ligule 1–3 mm, obtuse to truncate, minutely ciliate at tip; blades 4–9 cm, 3–7 mm wide, flat
Inflorescence open; lower branches spreading to drooping
Spikelet purplish; glumes 4–6 mm, equal, elliptic, acute, lower 1-veined, upper 3-veined; florets generally 2; callus hairs ± 1/2 lemma length; lemmas 2.5–4 mm, generally 2-toothed at tip, faintly 3-veined, awned near middle, awn 2–3 mm, straight to slightly bent
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Wet sites, meadows, streambanks, in coniferous forest
Elevation: 2000–2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges (Marble Mtns, Trinity Alps), High Cascade Range (Mt Shasta)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, e Canada, ne US, n Eurasia
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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