TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.-->

  • 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.



Kelly W. Allred

Perennial, cespitose
Stems erect
Leaves generally basal and cauline; sheaths < internodes; ligule short, densely ciliate; blades narrow, flat to folded
Inflorescence generally raceme-like (sometimes panicle-like or spikelet 1)
Spikelets ± laterally compressed; glumes ± equal, > florets, papery, 1–5-veined; florets 3–8, breaking above glumes and between florets; callus short-hairy; lemma rounded, 7–9-veined, tip 2-toothed, awned on back below teeth; awn generally bent, flat, coiled below bend, straight, ± cylindric above bend, palea = lemma
Fruit elliptic
Species in genus: 20 species: warm temp, tropical, Am, Eur, s Africa
Etymology: (E. Danthoine, France, early 19th century)
Variation, especially in D. californica, D. unispicata , complex, needs critical study.


D. californica Bol.


Stem 1–10 dm
Leaves basal and cauline, glabrous to densely hairy; upper blades 8–25 cm, flat, spreading to reflexed
Inflorescence 2–6 cm, open
Spikelets 1–5; stalk generally spreading, puberulent; glumes 10–23 mm; florets 3–8; lemma 8–15 mm, base, lower margin hairy, back ± glabrous; teeth 2–5 mm, awn 4–12 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Generally moist, open sites, meadows, forests
Elevation: < 2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, San Bernardino Mountains, s Peninsular Ranges, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: w Canada, w US, S.America (Chile)

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for DANTHONIA%20californica being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Danthonia californica
Retrieve dichotomous key for Danthonia
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions
Return to treatment index page
University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page | Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California