Vulpia microstachys (Nutt.) Munro

Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Poeae

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

Festuca pacifica Piper, F. reflexa Buckley

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

small fescue

Primary Disseminule Type


Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Spikelets solitary, pedicelled, consisting of 1–6 fertile florets with similar-looking though diminished sterile florets at apex, oblong, laterally compressed, (1)4–10 mm long, often purple-tinged, disarticulating below each fertile floret at maturity.

Glumes persistent, shorter than spikelet, thinner than lemma, membranous, surface scabrous, glabrous or pubescent, apices attenuate. Lower glume linear, 1.7–5.5 mm long, 0.5–0.75 length of upper glume, keeled, 1-veined, lateral veins absent. Upper glume lanceolate, 3.5–7.5 mm long, 0.75 length of adjacent fertile lemma, without keel, 3–5-veined, lateral veins ribbed.

Fertile florets: rachilla persistent, scaberulous, relatively short (0.6–1.2 mm long), callus short, blunt, glabrous.

Lemma lanceolate, 3.5–9.5 mm long, chartaceous, without keel, 5-veined, lateral veins obscure, surface scabrous, glabrous or pubescent, apex attenuate, awn (3)6–20 mm long.

Palea slightly shorter to slightly longer than lemma, 2-veined, apex with excurrent keel veins (2 teeth ca. 0.2–1 mm long).

Caryopsis lanceolate to linear, 3.5–6.5 mm long x ca. 1 mm wide, dark purplish-brown, embryo <0.33 length of caryopsis, hilum linear, same length as caryopsis, in deep groove.

Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

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)