Danthonia californica Boland.

California oatgrass

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

California oatgrass is native to much of western North America, and part of the west coast of South America. It is a rare visitor to the Northeast, being recorded as naturalized only in Massachusetts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
Massachusetts
Leaf blade width
2–4 mm
Inflorescence branches
the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
Spikelet length
10–30 mm
Glume relative length
both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
Awn on glume
the glume has no awn
One or more florets
there is more than one floret per spikelet
Lemma awn length
7–12 mm
Anther length
Up to 4 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    Up to 4 mm
    Anther number
    3
    Awn on glume
    the glume has no awn
    Glume relative length
    both glumes are as long or longer than all of the florets
    Glume veins
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7 or more
    Inflorescence arrangement
    the spikelets are uniform
    Inflorescence axis orientation
    • the inflorescence axis is arched or curved outward
    • the inflorescence axis is straight
    Inflorescence branches
    the flowers are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the inflorescence
    Inflorescence length
    20–50 mm
    Inflorescence type (general)
    the spikelets are borne on stalks or on branches
    Inflorescence type (specific)
    the inflorescence is branched, and the branches do NOT both grow from the same side of the plant AND look like spikes
    Lemma awn base
    the awn is attached right at the tip of the lemma
    Lemma awn coiled
    the lemma awn is coiled at least one half turn
    Lemma awn length
    7–12 mm
    Lemma awn number
    the lemma has one awn on it
    Lemma awn orientation
    the awn of the lemma on dried or older plants is curved or bent outwards
    Lemma cross-section
    the lemma is flat or rounded if you cut across the midpoint
    Lemma surface
    the surface of the lemma is relatively smooth (not counting any longitudinal veins or hairs)
    Lemma tip
    the lemma tip is split into two or more points
    Lemma vein number
    7 or more
    One or more florets
    there is more than one floret per spikelet
    Palea relative length
    palea is one half to fully as long as lemma
    Spikelet axis tip
    there is an extension of the spikelet axis beyond the tip of the spikelet
    Spikelet length
    10–30 mm
    Spikelets spiny
    the spikelets do not appear spiny
    Upper glume shape
    the upper glume is widest at or below the middle
  • Leaves
    Leaf auricles
    the leaves do not have auricles
    Leaf blade width
    2–4 mm
    Leaf ligule type
    the leaf ligule is in the form of fine hairs
    Leaf sheath closed around stem
    the margins of the leaf sheath are overlapping and not fused together except in the basal half (or less)
    Leaf sheath hairs
    • there are hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
    • there are no hairs on the surface of the leaf sheath
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Sometimes Confused With

Avena sativa:
spikelets, excluding the awns, 19–26 mm long, and glumes 5- to 11-veined (vs. D. californica, with spikelets, excluding the awns, up to 18 mm long, and glumes 1- to 5-veined).
Avena strigosa:
spikelets, excluding the awns, 19–26 mm long, and glumes 5- to 11-veined (vs. D. californica, with spikelets, excluding the awns, up to 18 mm long, and glumes 1- to 5-veined).

Synonyms

  • Danthonia americana Scribn.

Family

Poaceae

Genus

Danthonia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Danthonia californica Boland. E

California oatgrass. Danthonia americana Scribn. • MA. Waste areas, roadsides, ditches.