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Vascular Plants of California
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Rytidosperma penicillatum

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: RytidospermaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, cespitose, occasionally shortly rhizomed. Stem: erect to nodding, up to 1 m. Leaf: sheath glabrous or hairy, with tuft of hairs at tip; ligule a rim of hairs; blades persistent or breaking apart at ligules, flat or inrolled, glabrous or hairy. Inflorescence: generally raceme-like or few-branched, panicle-like. Spikelet: laterally compressed; glumes subequal, veins 3--13; florets 3--10, bisexual, breaking apart above glumes and between florets; callus sharp or +- blunt with lateral tufts of stiff hairs; lemma ovate to lanceolate with 2 complete or incomplete transverse rows of tufts of hairs occasionally reduced to marginal tufts, veins 5--9, 2-lobed, lobes often bristle-tipped, central awn from between lobes generally with twisted column. Fruit: obovate to elliptic.
Etymology: (Greek: wrinkled seed) Note: Florets cross-pollinated and anthers long, or self-pollinated and anthers short. Rytidosperma biannulare (Zotov) Connor & Edgar and Rytidosperma richardsonii (Cashmore) Connor & Edgar occasionally escaped from research plots, not known to have persisted.
eFlora Treatment Author: H.E. Connor & S.J. Darbyshire
Reference: Darbyshire & Connor 2003 FNANM 25:309--312
Rytidosperma penicillatum (Labill.) Connor & Edgar
Stem: 3--9 dm, short rhizomed. Leaf: generally basal, < stem, < 30 cm, flat or inrolled; Inflorescence: 4--10 cm. Spikelet: 10--15 mm; glumes 7.5--11 mm; florets 6--7; callus 0.5--1.5 mm, marginal hair tufts thick, overlapping lower row of lemma hairs; lemma 2--4.2 mm, generally glabrous above, a continuous row of hairs below, lateral lobes 5--13 mm, gradually narrowed to awns; central awn 5--17.5 mm, column 1.5--4 mm, reflexed, revealing palea tip. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, CCo, WTR (Santa Ynez Mtns); Distribution Outside California: to Oregon; Hawaii; native to Australia; naturalized in New Zealand. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul
Synonyms: Danthonia pilosa R. Br., misappl.
Jepson eFlora Author: H.E. Connor & S.J. Darbyshire
Reference: Darbyshire & Connor 2003 FNANM 25:309--312
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
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Citation for this treatment: H.E. Connor & S.J. Darbyshire 2012, Rytidosperma penicillatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 24, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 24, 2024.

Rytidosperma penicillatum
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©2011 Steve Matson
Rytidosperma penicillatum
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©2008 Neal Kramer
Rytidosperma penicillatum
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©2011 Steve Matson
Rytidosperma penicillatum
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©2011 Steve Matson
Rytidosperma penicillatum
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©2011 Steve Matson

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Geographic subdivisions for Rytidosperma penicillatum:
NCo, NCoRO, CCo, WTR (Santa Ynez Mtns)
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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).