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

Schizachne purpurascens (Torr.) Swallen
false melic
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4041)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Schizachne purpurascens
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Species Information

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Perennial, loosely tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems erect, to about 100 cm tall.
Sheaths closed almost to the tops; blades 2-4 (5) mm wide, folded or loosely in-rolled, usually smooth; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm long.
Inflorescence a zig-zagged or loosely erect panicle 7-13 (17) cm long; spikelets 11.5-17 mm long, 3- to 6-flowered; glumes pointed, membranous, smooth, the lower 4.2-6.2 mm long, the upper 6-8.5 (9) mm long; lemmas (8) 8.5-10.5 (12) mm long, with 7 to 9 prominent nerves, tips bidentate, awned, the awns arising below the tips, as long or longer than the lemma bodies, twisted and spreading or slightly abruptly bent, the calluses stiff-hairy; anthers 1.4-2.0 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic open forests, forest margins and rocky slopes in the montane zone; infrequent in SC, SE and C BC, rare northward; circumpolar, N to SE AK, YT, NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, VA, KY, IL, IA, NE, NM and UT; W and C Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Schizachne purpurascens

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) 59 940 1970
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 103
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 227 358
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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: BWBS(19), CWH(1), ESSF(19), ICH(38), IDF(31), MS(14), PP(1), SBPS(15), SBS(129), SWB(2)


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 montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Avena torreyi Nash
Melica purpurascens (Torr.) A.S. Hitchc.
Schizachne purpurascens subsp. purpurascens
Schizachne purpurascens var. pubescens Dore
Schizachne stricta (Michx.) HultTn
Trisetum purpurascens Torr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References