Holcus lanatus L.

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Aveneae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Avena lanata (L.) Koeler, Avena pallida Salisb.

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)

common velvetgrass

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets solitary, pedicelled (pedicel 1–4 mm long), elliptic, laterally compressed, 4–6 mm long, consisting of 1 basal fertile floret and 1 sterile floret. Disarticulation occurs below glumes.

Glumes similar, 4–6 mm long, exceeding apex of florets (2 lengths of adjacent fertile lemma), membranous (thinner than fertile lemma), whitish-green, often purple over the veins and towards the apices, keeled, surface asperulous. Lower glume lanceolate, 1-veined, midvein ciliate, apex obtuse or acute. Upper glume elliptic, surface pubescent, 3-veined, veins hairy, apex obtuse, somewhat bifid, mucronate or awned to 1.5 mm long.

Fertile floret: rachilla long, glabrous, connected to an apical sterile floret, callus pilose (hairs few, to 1 mm long).

Fertile lemma elliptic, 2–2.7 mm long, cartilaginous, shiny, keeled above, 3–5-veined (lateral veins obscure), apex obtuse, awnless.

Fertile palea same length as lemma, keels sparsely short-ciliate above, apex obtusely lobed, minutely ciliate.

Sterile lemma elliptic, 2–2.7 mm long, apex shallowly bifid, awn 1–3 mm long, inserted ca. 0.4 mm below lemma tip, often purple-tipped, slightly twisted and strongly hooked at maturity.

Caryopsis ovate to lanceolate, laterally compressed, 1–1.5 mm long x 0.4–0.5 mm wide, brown, embryo <0.33 length of caryopsis, hilum short or rarely long linear, sitting in longitudinal groove.

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)