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

Pleuropogon refractus (A. Gray) Benth. ex Vasey
nodding semaphoregrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9442)

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Distribution of Pleuropogon refractus
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Species Information

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Perennial grass in small clusters from rhizomes; stems hollow, erect, 100-150 cm tall.
Sheaths closed at the base but open for the upper 2-7 cm; blades flat, 3-7 mm wide, sometimes the uppermost reduced to barely 1 cm long; ligules minutely fringed with fine hairs, 1.5-3.5 mm long.
Inflorescence a one-sided raceme, 10-25 cm long; spikelets 5 to 12, broadly spaced, becoming reflexed, loosely 7- to 11-flowered, up to 3 (3.5) cm long; glumes translucent, the lower ones about 4-5 mm long, the upper ones usually somewhat jagged-lobed, 6-7 (8) mm long; lemmas slightly rough, mostly 7-8 mm long, jagged to tri-lobed at the tips, prominently 7-nerved, awned, the awns 3-10 mm long; paleas slightly to considerably shorter than the lemmas, the wings of each keel prominent and free at the tips for 0.5-1 mm, unawned; anthers 3-4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Bogs, streambanks, lakeshores, wet meadows, floodplains, thickets and forest openings in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent on S Vancouver Island and the adjacent lower mainland; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Pleuropogon refractus

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) 10 58 135
Slope Gradient (%) 0 1 5
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
84 197 310
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 5 6
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: CWH(14)


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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lophochlaena refracta A. Gray
Lophochlaena refracta var. refracta

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References