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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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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.



Paul M. Peterson

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes mat-like, often rhizomed
Stem decumbent to erect, ± clumped
Leaves basal and cauline; sheath open; ligule membranous, entire to irregularly toothed, sometimes with 1 large tooth on each side; blade flat to rolled
Inflorescence panicle-like, narrow to open; branches spreading to appressed
Spikelet: glumes subequal, generally 1-veined, short-pointed to awned, upper glume sometimes 3-veined; florets 1, sometimes 2, breaking above glumes; lemma short-pointed to awned, glabrous to hairy, 3-veined; palea < to = lemma
Fruit ± fusiform, reddish brown, generally falling with lemma and palea
Species in genus: ± 160 species: temp Am, s Asia
Etymology: (H.L.E. Muhlenberg, Pennsylvania botanist, 1753–1815)
Reference: [Reeder 1981 in Gould and Moran 1981 San Diego Soc Nat Hist Memoir 12:67–78]
Horticultural information: STBL.


M. porteri Beal

Stem 2.5–8 dm, wiry; lower nodes knot-like
Leaf: ligule 1–2.5 mm, truncate, decurrent to sheath, toothed; blade 2–8 cm, 1–2 mm wide, flat to ± folded
Inflorescence 4–15 cm, 6–15 cm wide, ovoid, open; branches thread-like, spreading
Spikelet: glumes 2–3 mm, acuminate; lemma 3–4.2 mm, hairy below middle, awn 2–10 mm; anther 1.5–2.3 mm, purple to yellow
Chromosomes: 2n=20,23,24,40
Ecology: Among boulders or shrubs, rocky slopes, cliffs
Elevation: 610–1680 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Bernardino Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, East of Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Colorado, w Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: Jun–Oct

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