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

Trisetum canescens Buckley
tall trisetum (nodding trisetum)
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26194)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Trisetum canescens
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems smooth, (30) 50-120 tall.
Sheaths open, minutely rough, short appressed-hairy, or soft-hairy, the basal sheaths smooth; blades flat, minutely rough to soft-hairy, (2) 4-11 (12) mm wide, the margins rough or with hairs 2-3 mm long near the ligules; ligules smooth to hairy, irregularly jagged to shallowly jagged, fringed with fine hairs, 1.5-4 mm long.
Inflorescence a large, open or narrow, drooping to ascending panicle, 10-30 cm long, the branches more or less threadlike, bearing spikelets mainly towards the tips; spikelets with 2 or 3 perfect florets and 1 or 2 sterile upper lemmas; rachillas with joints about 2-3 mm long, the hairs about twice as long as the callus hairs; lower glumes narrow, mostly only 1-4 (5) mm long, the upper ones much wider, 3.5-6 (8) mm long, but usually shorter than the lower florets; lemmas 5-7 mm long, toothed, the teeth about 2 mm long, awned, the awns ascending, zig-zagged, about 10-14 mm long, the callus hairs scarcely 1 mm long; lodicules about 1-1.5 mm long; anthers 1-2.2 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry meadows, forest openings, grasslands and shrublands in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in coastal BC, less frequent eastward; N to AK, E to AB and S to WY, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trisetum canescens

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) 0 713 2175
Slope Gradient (%) 0 15 200
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 202 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
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(10), CDF(12), CWH(470), ESSF(158), ICH(93), IDF(20), MH(9), MS(49), SBPS(6), SBS(111)


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

Trisetum canescens subsp. canescens
Trisetum cernuum subsp. canescens (Buckley) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Trisetum cernuum var. canescens (Buckley) Beal
Trisetum cernuum var. projectum (Louis-Marie) Beetle
Trisetum spicatum var. projectum (Louis-Marie) J.T. Howell

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References