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.



Robert J. Soreng

Annual, perennial herb, some ± dioecious
Stem 0.3–12 dm
Leaf: sheath open to closed (best observed on upper stem leaf); ligule thin, flexible; blade grooved above on both sides of midvein, flat, folded, or inrolled, generally smooth or scabrous on veins, generally prow-tipped
Inflorescence panicle-like; branches appressed to drooping
Spikelet generally compressed, breaking between florets; glumes 2, similar, generally < lowest lemma, awnless; florets generally 2–6; callus indistinct, often with obvious tuft of long cobwebby hairs; lemma generally keeled to base, of same texture as glumes, awnless, veins generally 5, ± converging near tip; palea well developed, keels generally scabrous; fertile anthers 0.2–4.5 mm; ovary glabrous
Species in genus: ± 500 species: temp and cool regions
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Soreng 1991 Syst Bot 16:507–528]
CA is center of diversity in North America. Spikelet features best observed on lowest florets of spikelet.


P. fendleriana (Steudel) Vasey subsp. longiligula (Scribn. & T.A. Williams) Soreng


Perennial, densely cespitose, generally with short rhizomes, 1.5–7 dm, dioecious
Leaf: sheath open ± 1/3 length; ligule 1–18 mm, truncate to acuminate; blade 1.5–4 mm wide, firm, folded, inrolled, uppermost stem-leaf blade generally ± vestigial, sterile stem blade upper surface generally finely hairy
Inflorescence generally 2–12 cm, lanceolate to ovate, dense; branches scabrous
Spikelet: callus glabrous; lemma 3.5–6 mm, keel and marginal veins (sometimes between) hairy
Flower generally pistillate; fertile anthers 2–4 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=56
Ecology: Mtn slopes, sagebrush scrub to subalpine
Elevation: 2000–3200 m.
Bioregional distribution: s High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, South Dakota, n Mexico
Flowering time: Spring–early summer
Synonyms: P. longiligula Scribner & Williams
Horticultural information: DRY: 1, 2, 3; STBL.

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