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.


Mary E. Barkworth

Stem generally unbranched
Inflorescence panicle-like; branches generally widely spreading
Spikelet: glumes tapered from near base to tip, tip narrowly acute, generally reddish; axis breaking above glumes; floret 1, generally round in X -section; callus 0.5–4 mm, generally sharp; lemma papillate or minutely tubercled at tip, sometimes hairy, margins strongly overlapping at maturity, tip neck-like, ciliate, generally pale colored; palea < 1/3 lemma length, glabrous, veins 0; anthers ciliate, often of 2 lengths
Species in genus: ± 80 species: Am
Etymology: (Latin: nassa, a basket with a narrow neck)
Reference: [Barkworth 1990 Taxon 39:597–614]
Segregated from Stipa ; see also Achnatherum, Hesperostipa.


N. cernua (Stebbins & Love) Barkworth


Stem 3–10 dm
Leaf: blade 0.4–1.5 mm wide
Inflorescence 15–80 cm
Spikelet: glumes unequal, lower 12–21 mm, upper 3–4 mm shorter; floret 4–9 mm; lemma evenly hairy on lower 1/4, then only over veins, tip neck-like, inconspicuous, awn 45–110 mm, distal segment wavy
Chromosomes: 2n=70
Ecology: Grassland, chaparral, juniper woodland
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Inner North Coast Ranges, e San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Synonyms: Stipa c. Stebbins & Love; S. lepida var. andersonii (Vasey) Hitchc
Horticultural information: DRY, SUN: 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; also STBL.

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