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, multi-branched
Stems spreading to erect
Leaves tightly clustered; ligule short-hairy; blade stiff, flat or folded, margin white
Inflorescence ± panicle-like; spikelets subsessile, clustered, ± concealed by terminal leaf clusters
Spikelet: glumes generally narrow, acute, 1-veined; axis generally breaking above glumes and between florets; florets bisexual; lemmas generally lanceolate, thick, pointed or short-awned, 3-veined; palea ± = lemma; lower spikelets with glumes subequal, slightly < lower floret, florets 3–4; upper spikelets with glumes strongly unequal, << florets, lower glume sometimes 0, florets 2–3
Species in genus: 3 species: temp North America, s South America
Etymology: (W. Munro, English agrostologist, 1818–1880)
Reference: [Parodi 1934 Revista Mus La Plata Secc. Bot 34:171–193]


M. squarrosa (Nutt.) Torr.


Plant mat-like, generally < 20 cm wide
Stem generally 3–10 cm; internodes ± scabrous, sometimes puberulent; lower internodes evident, upper crowded, concealed by leaves
Leaf: sheath stiff-hairy near collar, margins ± ciliate; ligule hairs < 1 mm; blades 1–2 cm, 1–3 mm wide
Spikelets 6–8 mm; lower generally sessile; upper short-stalked; glumes 2–4 mm; lemmas 3–5 mm, outer veins short-stiff-hairy below middle, awn < 2 mm; anthers 1–1.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Open, gravelly or rocky places
Elevation: 1500–1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert Mountains (Clark Mtn)
Distribution outside California: to Great Plains, Texas, n Mexico
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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