Achnatherum diegoense

(Swallen) Barkworth
Common names: San diego needlegrass
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 24. Treatment on page 131.
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Illustrator: Cindy Roché
Plants cespitose, not rhizomatous. Culms 110-140 cm tall, 2.5-4 mm thick, internodes densely and retrorsely pubescent for 3-9 mm below the nodes, particularly the lower nodes, glabrous or retrorsely puberulent elsewhere; nodes 3, pubescent or glabrate. Basal sheaths mostly glabrous or puberulent, margins ciliate distally; collars glabrous or with hairs, hairs mostly to 0.5 mm, sides with tufts of 1.5-2 mm hairs; ligules 0.4-2 mm, rounded to acute, abaxial surfaces hairy, hairs to 0.5 mm; upper ligules 1-3 mm, similar in structure and pubescence; blades 1-3.5 mm wide, abaxial surfaces smooth or scabrous, adaxial surfaces prominently ribbed, hairy, hairs 2-3 mm. Panicles 21-25 cm long, (2)4-8 cm wide; branches strongly divergent to ascending, straight, lower branches 5-7 cm. Spikelets appressed to the branches. Glumes subequal, 8-11.5 mm; lower glumes 0.5-1 mm wide, 3-5-veined; upper glumes 3-veined; florets 5.5-7.5 mm long, 0.7-1 mm thick, fusiform, terete; calluses 0.25-1.2 mm, acute; lemmas evenly hairy, hairs at midlength and at the apices 0.5-1 mm, apical lobes 0.2-0.4 mm, membranous, flexible; awns 20-50 mm, persistent, twice-geniculate, all segments scabrous to scabridulous, terminal segment straight; paleas 2.6-3.8 mm, 1/2 - 3/4 as long as the lemmas, pubescent, hairs not extending beyond the apices, veins terminating below the apices, apices rounded; anthers 2.5-4 mm, dehiscent, not penicillate. 2n = unknown.


Achnatherum diegoense grows in chaparral and coastal sage scrub, on rocky soil near streams or the coast, at 0-350 m, on the Channel Islands of Santa Barbara County, California, and, on the mainland, in Ventura and San Diego counties south into Baja California, Mexico.



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.