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Dactylis glomerata

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: DactylisView Description 


Etymology: (Greek: finger, from finger-like inflorescence branches)
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Allred 2007 FNANM 24:482--483
Unabridged Reference: Stebbins & Zohary 1959 Univ Calif Publ Bot 31:1--40
Dactylis glomerata L.
Habit: Perennial herb, cespitose, from short rhizomes. Stem: (1)2--5, 3--20+ dm. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath closed, keeled; auricles 0; ligule 4--9 mm, +- translucent, fringed to toothed at obtuse tip, glabrous to minutely soft-hairy; blade 3--6 mm wide, slightly scabrous. Inflorescence: panicle-like, 4--20 cm; lower branches spike-like, spreading, upper stiffly erect to spreading. Spikelet: crowded, generally on 1 side of branch tips, short-stalked to subsessile, laterally compressed; florets 2--6, generally bisexual (upper sometimes staminate), breaking above glumes and between florets; glumes, lemmas short-awned at tip, minutely ciliate to short-hairy on back; glumes 3--6 mm, subequal, 1--3-veined; lemma 4--7 mm, margin translucent, 5-veined; palea slightly < lemma, 2-forked at tip. Chromosomes: 2n=14,21,27--31,42.
Ecology: Disturbed, often moist sites; Elevation: < 2410 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Canada, widespread in United States; native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: May--Aug Note: Cultivated for forage, hay.
Jepson eFlora Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Reference: Allred 2007 FNANM 24:482--483
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Dactylis glomerata
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Dactylis glomerata

botanical illustration including Dactylis glomerata

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Citation for this treatment: Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Dactylis glomerata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 14, 2024.

Dactylis glomerata
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©2003 Steve Matson
Dactylis glomerata
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©2011 Barry Breckling
Dactylis glomerata
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©2003 Steve Matson
Dactylis glomerata
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©2008 Keir Morse
Dactylis glomerata
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©2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Dactylis glomerata
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dactylis glomerata:
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2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).