E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Calamagrostis purpurascens R. Br. var. purpurascens
purple reedgrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17146)

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Distribution of Calamagrostis purpurascens var. purpurascens
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots and short rhizomes; stems stiff, unbranched, 10-80 cm tall, with 2 to 3 nodes.
Sheath summits smooth to hairy; leaf blades stiff, flat, 5-30 cm long, 2-5 mm wide, often rough or short-hairy above the leaf sheaths, smooth to rough on the collars; ligules 2-6 mm long.
Inflorescence a stiff, spikelike panicle 4-15 cm long, its branches up to 3.5 cm long; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes long-pointed, 4.5-8 mm long, rough, keeled; lemmas nearly as long as the glumes, minutely 4-toothed at the tips, awned, the awns stout, twisted and attached near the base, extending well beyond the glume tips, the callus hairs of unequal length, up to 1/3 as long as the florets; rachillas 1-2 mm long, with hairs 1/2 to as long as the florets.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry, rocky ridges, sandy slopes, shrublands and open forests in the montane to alpine zones; common in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to PQ and Labr. and S to MN, SD, NM, UT, NV and CA; Greenland, E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Calamagrostis lepageana Louis-Marie
Calamagrostis maltei (Polunin) A. L÷ve & D. L÷ve
Calamagrostis purpurascens subsp. maltei (Polunin) Porsild
Calamagrostis purpurascens subsp. purpurascens
Calamagrostis purpurascens var. laricina
Calamagrostis purpurascens var. maltei Polunin
Calamagrostis yukonensis Nash
Deschampsia congestiformis Booth

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References