General: Perennial, strongly tufted grass from fibrous roots, stems numerous, 20-120 cm tall.
Leaves: Sheaths open, smooth to rough; blades matted at the base, rather stiff, sometimes flat but most folded or in-rolled, smooth to rough below, rough above, with a few, prominent, raised nerves, 1.5-3 (4) mm wide; ligules entire but often split, hairy, sharp-pointed or rounded, 4-8 mm long.
Flowers: Inflorescence a loose and open to narrow panicle, 8-30 cm long, the branches spreading or drooping to erect (even at maturity); spikelets usually glistening, purplish to tawny, 2-flowered, rarely 3-flowered, glumes rather narrow, the lower ones 1-nerved, 2.5-5 (6) mm long, the upper ones 3-nerved, often somewhat jagged, 3-6 (7) mm long; lemmas 5-nerved, 2.5-4 mm long, the tips jagged and 4-toothed, awned from the base, the awns 3-5 mm long, straight or bent, the callus hairs about 1 mm long; lodicules egg-shaped to lanceolate, 0.7-1 mm long, anthers 1.2-2.2 mm long.
Notes: This is a widespread, difficult complex and until an adequate monographic study is undertaken we are recognizing only two subspecies for BC:
1. Glumes mostly 5-7 mm long; lemmas averaging 4 mm long; panicles open during flowering .... ssp. beringensis (Hult.) Lawrence
1. Glumes mostly less than 5 mm long; lemmas averaging 3.5 mm, if longer then the panicles closed at flowering .... ssp. cespitosa
Saline meadows, beaches and tidal marshes in the lowland zone and moist meadows in the montane to alpine zones (ssp. beringensis) and moist to mesic meadows, lakes shores, rocky ridges, shrub-carrs and talus slopes in the montane to alpine zones (ssp. cespitosa); ssp. beringensis - common along the coast, ssp. cespitosa - common in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in BC; ssp. beringensis - amphiberingian, N to AK and S to N WA; ssp. cespitosa - circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, KY, IL, MN, SD, NM, AZ, and CA; Greenland, Eurasia
A shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, circumpolar grass (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on very moist to wet, calcium-rich and nitrogen-rich soils (Moder and Mull humus forms), often with a fluctuating groundwater table. Grows in boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates on waterreceiving and water-collecting sites with slowmoving, often stagnant groundwater. Frequent on disturbed gleysolic soils or tidal marshes (tolerates brackish water and ocean spray). Characteristic of early-seral or semi-terrestrial, non-forested communities.
Aira caespitosa L. Deschampsia bottnica (Wahlenb.) Trin. Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) P. Beauv., orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa subsp. orientalis HultΘn, orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa subsp. parviflora (Thuill.) K. Richt., orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa var. alpicola (Rydb.) A. L÷ve & D. L÷ve & Kapoor, orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa var. arctica Vasey, orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa var. intercotidalis B. Boivin, orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa var. longiflora Beal, orth. var. Deschampsia caespitosa var. maritima Vasey, orth. var. Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. bottnica (Wahlenb.) Tzvelev Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. genuina (Rchb.) O.H. Volk Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. obensis (Rosh.) Tzvelev Deschampsia cespitosa subsp. paramushirensis (Honda) Tzvelev Deschampsia cespitosa var. abbei B. Boivin Deschampsia cespitosa var. arctica Vasey Deschampsia cespitosa var. glauca (C. Hartm.) C. Hartm., non Regel Deschampsia cespitosa var. littoralis (Gaudin) K. Richt. Deschampsia cespitosa var. maritima Vasey Deschampsia cespitosa var. parviflora (Thuill.) Coss. & Germ. Deschampsia mackenzieana Raup Deschampsia pumila (Ledeb.) Ostenf.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2021-09-16 3:41:20 AM
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