Achnatherum hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Barkworth
sand ricegrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ryan Batten     (Photo ID #52759)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Achnatherum hymenoides
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial, tufted grass from fibrous roots; stems 25-70 cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades in-rolled, 0.1-1 mm wide and usually wavy when dry; ligules on the lower leaves 1.5-7.5 mm long, tapering to sharp points, the upper ligules to 2 mm long.
Inflorescence an open, spreading panicle, 9-20 cm long, the unequal branches and flower stalks spreading wide; spikelets single at the end of each flower stalk; glumes 5-9 mm long, rounded at the base and tapering above the middle to points, with short, stiff hairs throughout; lemmas 3-4 mm long, densely hairy, the hairs 2.5-6 mm long, awned, the stout awns 3-6 mm long, the first segments rough or short-hairy, deciduous at maturity; paleas almost as long as the lemmas; calluses 0.4-1 mm long, sharp.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


Ecological Framework for Achnatherum hymenoides

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)
594 325 1030
Slope Gradient (%)
34 0 70

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

187 58 344
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BG(31), BWBS(1), ICH(2), IDF(6), PP(3), SBS(7)

Habitat and Range

Dry sandy slopes and grasslands in the steppe and montane (rarely) zones; infrequent in SC and SE BC, rare in NW BC (Telegraph Creek); E to SW MB and S to AR, TX, NM, AZ, MX and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Eriocoma cuspidata Nutt.
Oryzopsis hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Ricker ex Piper
Stipa hymenoides Roem. & Schult.