Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Melica

View taxon page for Melica

(For a list of species in Melica, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Glumes deciduous falling as 1 unit, 1–2 per inflorescence branch (sect. Melica) ..... M. stricta

1' Glumes persistent axis breaking above glumes, spikelets > 2 per lower inflorescence branch (sect. Bromelica)

2. Lemma strongly  or awned, glabrous or, if hairy, hairs longer on lower 2/3 of margins, marginal veins or basally

3. Awn 5–12 mm;  surface glabrous, margin near base often hairy ..... M. aristata

3' Awn 0–4 mm; lemma surface hairy near base

4. Lemma  to ± mucronate at tip, , with longer hairs on margins,  1–4 mm; corms 0 ..... M. harfordii

4' Lemma strongly acuminate, hairy with longer hairs toward base, awn 0; corms present ..... M. subulata

2' Lemma rounded to , awn 0 (occasionally to 2 mm), glabrous to scabrous, longer hairs (if any) along  margin or near tip

5. Bisexual  1–2 in all spikelets

6. Sterile cluster at axis tip widest at middle or below; axis < sterile cluster; lemma generally glabrous or minutely scabrous ..... M. imperfecta

6' Sterile cluster at axis tip  or widest above middle; axis > sterile cluster; lemma margin generally hairy ..... M. torreyana

5' Bisexual florets 3–7 in some or all spikelets

7. Floret stalks swollen when fresh, ± wrinkled and brown when dry ..... M. fugax

7' Floret stalks not swollen when fresh or wrinkled when dry

8. Palea 1/2–3/4 lemma; leaves 3–5 per stemblades 3–9 cm ..... M. frutescens

8' Palea ± 7/8 lemma; leaves 2–3 per stem, blades generally >> 9 cm

9. Sterile cluster at axis tip widest above middle, tip truncate (acute), not resembling floret ..... M. californica

9' Sterile cluster at axis tip widest below middle, tip acute to acuminate, resembling floret

10. Both glumes ± 1/2 lowest floret; corms connected to  by short stalk ..... M. spectabilis

10' 1 or both glumes ± 3/4 lowest floret; corms  on rhizome (or rhizome 0)

11. Sheath of   remaining intact; inflorescence branches  to  ..... M. bulbosa

11' Sheath of basal leaf becoming ; inflorescence branches  to  ..... M. geyeri


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) . Jepson eFlora, [accessed on ]

Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

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