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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

63. Poaceae, the Grass Family

25. Puccinellia Parl. -- Alkaligrass

2. Puccinellia distans (L.) Parl. -- Weeping alkaligrass


Culms 1-5 dm tall; leaves flat to slightly involute, 1-3 mm wide, glabrous; ligule white-hyaline, rounded, 0.5-1 mm long. Panicle pyramidal, 5-15 cm long, the branches (at least the lower ones) reflexed at maturity. Spikelets 3- to 7-flowered, 3-6 mm long; first glume acute, 0.5-1.5 mm long, the second glume obtuse to rounded, erose; lemmas rounded to truncate, erose, not narrowed at the apex, 1.6-2 mm long; anthers 0.5-0.8 mm long. Late Jun--Aug. Springs, shores, ditches and wet disturbed places, not necessarily where alkaline or saline; uncommon, from scattered locations, probably increasing; (Intro. from Eurasia, in N.Amer. along the Atlantic coast from N.B. to DE and inland to the Great Lakes region and to the e base of the Rocky Mts.; also Yuk. and n B.C., s to CA).
GIF- Species Photo/Drawing

Puccinellia distans (from Hitchcock 1950).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Puccinellia cusickii Weatherby -- Cusick's alkaligrass
Return to Family -- Poaceae - The Grass Family
Next Section -- Puccinellia nuttalliana (Schult.) Hitchc. -- Nuttall's alkaligrass

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