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

Calamagrostis rubescens Buckley
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17149)

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Distribution of Calamagrostis rubescens
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from fibrous roots and conspicuous rhizomes; stems unbranched, 60-100 cm tall, with 2 to 3 nodes.
Sheaths smooth to occasionally hairy above, the sheath summits usually with conspicuous tufted hairs; ligules 3-5 mm long, with jagged margins at the tips; leaf blades flat, rough or occasionally just hairy above, rough or smooth below, 8-40 cm long and 2-5 mm wide.
Inflorescence a congested to somewhat open panicle, pale or less often purplish, 6-15 (25) cm long, with the longer branches 2-4 cm long; spikelets 1-flowered; glumes long-pointed, 4-5 mm long, smooth to somewhat rough short-hairy, especially on the keels; lemmas 3-4 mm long, jagged and 4-toothed at the tips, with stout, strongly twisted and abruptly bent awns 3.5-4.5 mm long, attached near the base, the callus hairs of varying length, up to 1 mm long; rachillas about 1 mm long, with hairs to 2 mm.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry meadows, rocky slopes and open forests in the steppe to subalpine zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to AB and S to CO, UT, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Calamagrostis rubescens

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) 100 1149 2854
Slope Gradient (%) 0 25 240
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 189 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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: AT(1), BAFA(1), BG(23), BWBS(1), CWH(1), ESSF(545), ICH(900), IDF(2824), MS(1770), PP(186), SBPS(336), SBS(502)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant montane. Asian and Western North American grass distributed in the Pacific (only in south), Cordilleran, and Central regions. Occurs in continental boreal and cool temperate climates on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-medium soils; its occurrence decreases with elevation and precipitation. Occasional in lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir forests on water-shedding sites in the southern coast-interior ecotone. Commonly associated with Spiraea betulifolia. Characteristic of continental forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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

Calamagrostis fasciculata Kearney
Calamagrostis luxurians

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References