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

Danthonia decumbens (L.) DC.
heathergrass (common heathgrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #10169)

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Distribution of Danthonia decumbens
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems disarticulating at the nodes, 8-60 cm tall.
Sheaths smooth or soft-hairy; blades 0.5-4 mm wide, 5-15 cm long, smooth or sparsely soft-hairy, usually flat; ligules less than 1 mm long, fringed with short hairs.
Inflorescence a narrow panicle with up to 15 spikelets on erect branches, the lower branches with 1 to 3 spikelets; spikelets 6-15 mm long; lemmas 5-6 mm long, smooth or hairy on the margins, awned, the awns reduced to short, sharp abrupt points between the two teeth at the tips (lemmas appearing 3-cleft), the calluses with tufts of stiff hairs laterally; florets of terminal inflorescences usually small, closed, self-fertilized, with 3 tiny anthers 0.2-0.4 mm long, rarely with the latter florets open and then with anthers to about 2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry sandy or rocky meadows in the lowland zone; rare in SW BC (Gulf Islands); introduced from Europe and NW 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

Festuca decumbens L.
Sieglingia decumbens

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References