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

Annual, perennial herb
Stems erect
Leaves basal to cauline; ligule membranous, glabrous to minutely ciliate, toothed at obtuse to truncate tip; blade narrow, flat to inrolled
Inflorescence panicle-like, generally compact, narrow
Spikelet laterally compressed; glumes unequal, upper > and wider than lower, keeled, acute, lower 1-veined, upper faintly 3–5-veined; axis prolonged beyond fertile floret, bristly (sometimes with vestigial floret at tip); florets 2–5, bisexual, breaking above glumes and between florets; lower lemmas generally > glumes, awned or not, 5-veined; palea ± < lemma, tip minutely 2-forked
Species in genus: ± 30 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (G.L. Koeler, Germany, born 1765)


K. macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult.


Perennial, cespitose
Stems 2–7 dm, glabrous to puberulent
Leaves generally basal, tufted, glabrous to puberulent; ligule 1–2 mm; blade 3–20 cm, 1–2(3) mm wide, generally ridged
Inflorescence 2–15 cm, 1–2 cm wide, cylindric to narrowly conic, axis and branches puberulent
Spikelet 4–6 mm, ± shiny, tan (sometimes purplish); florets 2–3(4); glumes and lower lemmas minutely scabrous on back; lower glume ± 3 mm, upper ± 5 mm; lemmas 3–5 mm, acute to small-pointed at tip
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Dry, open sites, clay to rocky soils, scrub, woodland, coniferous forest, alpine
Elevation: < 3500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e Canada, c&e US, n Mexico
Flowering time: May–Jul
Synonyms: K. cristata (L.) Pers., an illegitimate name; K. pyramidata (Lam.) P. Beauv. misapplied
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17 &IRR, part SHD: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; also STBL.

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