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Vascular Plants of California
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Brachypodium distachyon

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; 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; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
Genera In Family: 650--900 genera; +- 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). Note: Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761--770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.
Genus: BrachypodiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: FALSE BROME
Habit: Annual, perennial herb from rhizomes or cespitose, 5--200 cm. Stem: decumbent to erect; nodes often hairy. Leaf: generally cauline; blade flat to inrolled, glabrous to short-hairy; ligule membranous. Inflorescence: spike- to raceme-like; spikelets generally 1 per node, +- cylindric, ascending to appressed, sessile to short-stalked. Spikelet: glumes unequal, <= lowest floret, 3--9-veined, acute to awned; florets 3--24, bisexual; axis breaking above glumes and between florets; lemma back rounded, 5--9-veined, acute to awned from tip; palea slightly < lemma, clearly ciliate or toothed.
Etymology: (Greek: short foot, from short, thick spikelet stalk in some species) Note: Reports of Brachypodium phoenicoides (L.) Roem. & Schult. from Sonoma Co. have not been verified.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael B. Piep
Reference: Piep 2007 FNANM 24:187--192
Unabridged Reference: Schippmann 1991 Boissiera 45:1--249
Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P. Beauv.
Habit: Annual, generally loosely tufted, 15--40 cm. Stem: decumbent to erect, nodes conspicuously pubescent. Leaf: blade 1.5--8 cm, 3--5 mm wide, flat. Inflorescence: 2--7 cm; spikelets 1--7 per stem, laterally compressed. Spikelet: glumes 5--8 mm; florets 7--15; lemma 7--10 mm, awn 4--17 mm; palea stiff-ciliate to minutely toothed above middle.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, dry slopes; Elevation: < 900 m. Bioregional Distribution: s NCoR, s CaRF, SN, GV, CW, SCo, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island), PR, DSon; Distribution Outside California: Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Australia; native to southern Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael B. Piep
Reference: Piep 2007 FNANM 24:187--192
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
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Botanical illustration including Brachypodium distachyon

botanical illustration including Brachypodium distachyon

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Citation for this treatment: Michael B. Piep 2012, Brachypodium distachyon, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 17, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 17, 2024.

Brachypodium distachyon
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©2011 Barry Breckling

More photos of Brachypodium distachyon
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Brachypodium distachyon:
s NCoR, s CaRF, SN, GV, CW, SCo, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island), PR, DSon
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).