Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Danthonia californica Boland.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This grass has small panicles that consist of only 3-5 spikelets. The 1/2-inch long lemmas are hairy near the base and bear a twisted awn 1/3-1/2 inch long.
- Habitat: Meadows and open hillsides.
- Habit: Densely tufted perennial with fibrous roots and last year's brown leaf sheaths
persistent at base of plant.
- Stems: Upright, hollow, up to 3 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat or sometimes rolled into a tube, up to 10 inches long, up to
1/6 inch wide, rough to the touch and usually with a few long hairs along the margins; sheaths with a few long hairs at the tip.
- Flowers: Borne in 5- to 8-flowered, usually purple, spikelets, with 3-5 spikelets arranged in a small panicle up to 3 inches long; branches of the panicles usually hairy; glumes 1/2-3/4 inch long, smooth or slightly rough; lemmas 1/3-1/2 inch lo
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Grains: Ellipsoid, smooth.
- Notes: The grains are eaten by small birds and mammals.
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