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.


Perennial, tufted or mat-like, sometimes from short stolons
Stems spreading to erect
Leaves generally basal; ligule short-hairy; blade ± stiff, pointed
Inflorescence raceme- or panicle-like, head-like, ± dense
Spikelet compressed; glumes ± equal, membranous, generally acuminate, glabrous, 1-veined; axis breaking apart above glumes and between florets; florets 4–20, lower bisexual, upper staminate or sterile; lemma wide, back rounded, generally densely soft-hairy below middle, 3-veined, tip 2-lobed or not, short-awned from tip or not; palea densely hairy below middle; stamens 1 or 3
Species in genus: 5 species: sw US, Mex, South America
Etymology: (Greek: woolly nerve, from lemma, palea hairs)
Reference: [Tateoka 1961 Amer J Bot 48:565–573]


E. pilosum (Buckley) Nash


Perennial, cespitose
Stems erect, 1–3(4) dm
Leaf: sheath margin long-soft-hairy at collar; blade 3–6 cm, 1–1.5 mm wide, flat or folded, margin white
Inflorescence raceme- or panicle-like, 1.5–4 cm, 1–2 cm wide, stalked and elevated above terminal leaf cluster
Spikelet 1–1.5 cm; glumes 3–7 mm, tan or purplish, awn 0; lemma 4–7 mm, tip minutely 2-toothed, awn < 2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Rocky slopes, ridges, pinyon/juniper woodland
Elevation: 1500–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: East of Sierra Nevada, e Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Kansas, Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: May–Jun
Synonyms: Tridens p. (Buckley) Hitchc
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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