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Published In: Mantissa 2: 345. 1824. (Mant.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult. (June grass, crested hair grass)

Pl. 134 d–f; Map 544

K. cristata (L.) Pers.

K. nitida Nutt.

Plants perennial, with rhizomes lacking or very short, forming tufts or small clumps. Flowering stems 20–60 cm long, erect, uncommonly from spreading bases, sometimes slightly swollen at the base, usually hairy toward the tip and sometimes also with minute hairs at the nodes. Leaf sheaths rounded on the back, glabrous or more commonly hairy, the ligule 0.3–1.5 mm long, the margin somewhat uneven and minutely hairy. Leaf blades 2–20 cm long, 1–3 mm wide, flat, folded, or with inrolled margins, glabrous or hairy. Inflorescences 3–15 cm long, dense, often spikelike panicles with short, ascending to spreading branches, erect, the main axis densely and finely hairy. Spikelets 4.5–6.0 mm long, strongly flattened laterally, disarticulating above the glumes, with 2 perfect florets and rarely with 1 or 2 additional sterile florets positioned above the perfect ones (toward the spikelet tip), the rachilla extended past the floret(s) as a slender, roughened bristle, sometimes with a minute scale at the tip. Glumes sharply pointed at the tip, keeled, awnless, roughened, sometimes only along the midnerve, unequal to similar in shape and size, the upper glume generally slightly longer and wider and also sometimes broadest above the middle. Lower glume 1.9–4.5 mm long, elliptic‑lanceolate, broadest at or below the middle, sharply pointed at the tip, 1‑nerved. Upper glume 2.5–5.5 mm long, elliptic‑lanceolate to more commonly oblanceolate, broadest below or above the middle, 1‑ or 3‑nerved. Lemmas 2.5–5.2 mm long, elliptic‑lanceolate, sharply pointed at the tip, 5‑nerved, keeled, awnless, roughened, sometimes only along the midnerve, often shiny, the base glabrous or minutely hairy. Palea 2–5 mm long, membranous, faintly 2‑nerved. Stamens 3, the anthers 1–2 mm long. Fruits 1.8–3.0 mm long, narrowly elliptic in outline, yellowish brown to reddish brown, the style base persistent as a short appendage at the tip. 2n=14, 28, 42. May–July.

Scattered through most of the state, but apparently absent from the southeastern and northeastern portions, including all of the Mississippi Lowlands Division (U.S., except some southeastern states; Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Europe, Asia). Upland prairies, exposed ledges and tops of bluffs, openings of mesic to dry upland forests, and savannas, on acidic substrates; also pastures, old fields, roadsides, railroads, mine spoils, and sandy, disturbed areas.

This species is a common component of high‑quality upland prairie communities that is found less commonly in more disturbed habitats. Confusion surrounding the taxonomy and nomenclature of this species was reviewed by Arnow (1994), whose detailed morphological and cytological studies showed that the European species K. pyramidata (Lam.) P. Beauv. is distinct from the widespread American and Eurasian species whose correct name is K. macrantha. The name K. cristata, widely used in the older literature (Steyermark, 1963), is an illegitimate name (Shinners, 1960).



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