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

Sphenopholis obtusata (Michx.) Scribn.
prairie wedgegrass (prairie wedgescale)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Sphenopholis obtusata
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots, sometimes flowering as a winter annual; stems 20-80 (100) cm tall.
Sheaths open, smooth or minutely rough to hairy; blades flat, (2) 3-5 (6) mm wide, rough to hairy; ligules usually slightly minutely rough externally, irregularly jagged and more or less toothed, (1) 1.5-2 (2.5) mm long.
Inflorescence a dense, spikelike to somewhat more open and interrupted panicle, (2) 5-15 cm long, the branches erect; spikelets 2-flowered; rachillas prolonged, with rudiments; glumes rough, the lower ones very narrow, scarcely 2 mm long, the upper ones much flattened, slightly hood-shaped, averaging about 2 mm long, 3-4 times as wide, the upper glumes rounded at the tips; lemmas oblong, rough, 2-2.6 mm long, unawned (rarely awn-tipped); anthers about 0.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, streambanks, shallow ponds and hot springs in the steppe and montane zones; rare in SC and SE BC; E to NB and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, FL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

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

Aira obtusata Michx.
Sphenopholis intermedia var. pilosa Dore
Sphenopholis obtusata var. lobata (Trin.) Scribn.
Sphenopholis obtusata var. major (Torr.) K.S. Erdman
Sphenopholis obtusata var. obtusata
Sphenopholis obtusata var. pubescens (Scribn. & Merr.) Scribn.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References