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, generally cespitose
Stems ascending to erect
Leaves basal and cauline; ligule hairy; blade flat to inrolled
Inflorescence panicle- to spike-like, narrow, generally compact
Spikelet: glumes ± subequal, 3–9-veined; florets 3–6, breaking above glumes and weakly between florets, lower 1–3 florets fertile, bisexual, upper generally sterile, gradually reduced; lemmas < glumes, elliptic to ovate, firmly membranous, rounded on back, generally 9-veined, awned at truncate tip, awns 9, plumose; fertile palea slightly > lemma
Species in genus: ± 30 species: warm temp North America, Africa, Asia, Australia
Etymology: (Greek: nine beards, from 9 plumose awns)
Reference: [Renvoise 1968 Kew Bull 22: 393–401]


E. desvauxii P. Beauv.


Stem 1–4 dm; nodes dense, short-hairy; internodes 2–5 cm
Leaf soft-hairy; sheath ciliate; ligule hairs < 1 mm; blade > 2 X internode, < 2 mm wide, ± inrolled
Inflorescence spike-like, 3–6 cm, grayish
Spikelet: glumes minutely soft-hairy on back, strongly veined, lower 3–5 mm, upper 4–6 mm; florets 3, lower 1 fertile, upper 2 sterile; lemmas 1–3 mm, awns 2–5 mm, exserted
Chromosomes: 2n=20
Ecology: Rocky slopes, crevices, calcareous soils, desert woodland
Elevation: 1275–1825 m.
Bioregional distribution: e Mojave Desert (Desert Mountains)
Distribution outside California: to Colorado, w Texas, n Mexico, S.America
Flowering time: Aug–Sep
Lower sheaths sometimes enclose cleistogamous spikelets that disperse with stem parts.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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