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

Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult.
junegrass (prairie Junegrass)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13645)

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Distribution of Koeleria macrantha
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Species Information

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Perennial, strongly tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems smooth to soft-hairy, (20) 30-60 cm tall.
Sheath margins usually not overlapping above, the collars often with long, straight hairs 1-1.5 mm long; blades 1-2 (4.5) mm wide, 2-6 (20) cm long, sometimes flat, but usually folded to in-rolled, usually rough to densely hairy or short stiff-hairy or both, rarely smooth, often greyish, the margins at the insertions often with long, straight hairs 1-1.5 mm long, the tips strongly prowlike; ligules 0.5-2 mm long, strongly hairy, jagged to nearly entire, more or less fringed with fine hairs.
Inflorescence a spikelike panicle, 4-13 cm long, the short branches spreading at flowering; spikelets 2- (3- or 4-) flowered; glumes unawned or rarely awn-tipped, the lower ones 3.5 mm long, the upper ones 4-6 mm long, somewhat wider than the lower ones and about equalling or slightly exceeding the lower florets, sparsely to copiously rough short-hairy; lemmas 3.5-5 mm long, minutely rough to short-hairy, unawned or awn-tipped; anthers about 2 (2.5) mm long.
A general consensus has yet to be reached regarding which name is best for this species. For a discussion of the problems involved see Hitchcock et al. (1969609) and Holmgren and Holmgren (1977254).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky or grassy slopes and forest openings in the steppe to subalpine zones; common in SC and SE BC, less frequent in SW and N BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and SW NT, E to Labr. and S to ME, NY, OH, AL, MS, TX, NM, AZ, CA and MX; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Koeleria macrantha

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 122 961 2480
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 191 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: At(1), BG(425), BWBS(13), CDF(1), CWH(1), ESSF(152), ICH(62), IDF(1092), IMA(3), MS(108), PP(404), SBPS(47), SBS(36), SWB(4)


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

Koeleria albescens auct.
Koeleria cristata auct. non Pers. p.p.
Koeleria cristata var. longifolia Vasey ex Burtt Davy
Koeleria cristata var. pinetorum Abrams
Koeleria gracilis Pers.
Koeleria macrantha
Koeleria macrantha
Koeleria nitida Nutt.
Koeleria pyramidata auct. non (Lam.) P. Beauv. p.p.
Koeleria yukonensis Hultén

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References