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Heligrass
Melica frutescens
  
About Heligrass (Melica frutescens) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Melica frutescens, woody melicgrass, is a species of grass in the Poaceae family that can be found in such US states as Arizona and California and in Mexico. The species is perennial and have culms that are 75-200 centimetres (30-79 in) long and woody. The species' lateral branches are sparse with leaf-sheaths being scabrous, tubular and closed. It leaf-blades are 2-4 millimetres (0. 079-0. 157 in) wide. It panicle is contracted, linear, and is 12-35 centimetres (4. 7-13. 8 in) long with filiform pedicels that are located on fertile spikelet. The main branches are appressed and carry oblong and solitary spikelets that are 12-18 millimetres (0. 47-0. 71 in) long. They are comprised out of 3-6 fertile florets which are diminished at the apex. It sterile florets are barren, oblong, growing in a clump and are 4. 5-6. 5 millimetres (0. 18-0. 26 in) long. The species' fertile lemma is chartaceous, keelless, oblong and is 8-11 millimetres (0. 31-0. 43 in) long. Both lower and upper glumes are chartaceous, elliptic and keelless with acute apexes. Their size is different though; Lower glume is 7-12 millimetres (0. 28-0. 47 in) long while the upper one is 9-15 millimetres (0. 35-0. 59 in) long. Flowers are fleshy, oblong, truncate and grow together. They also have 3 anthers with fruits that are caryopses and have an additional pericarp. The species is perennial and have culms that are 75-200 centimetres (30-79 in) long and woody. The species' lateral branches are sparse with leaf-sheaths being scabrous, tubular and closed. It leaf-blades are 2-4 millimetres (0. 079-0. 157 in) wide. It panicle is contracted, linear, and is 12-35 centimetres (4. 7-13. 8 in) long with filiform pedicels that are located on fertile spikelet. The main branches are appressed and carry oblong and solitary spikelets that are 12-18 millimetres (0. 47-0. 71 in) long. They are comprised out of 3-6 fertile florets which are diminished at the apex. It sterile florets are barren, oblong, growing in a clump and are 4. 5-6. 5 millimetres (0. 18-0. 26 in) long. The species' fertile lemma is chartaceous, keelless, oblong and is 8-11 millimetres (0. 31-0. 43 in) long. Both lower and upper glumes are chartaceous, elliptic and keelless with acute apexes. Their size is different though; Lower glume is 7-12 millimetres (0. 28-0. 47 in) long while the upper one is 9-15 millimetres (0. 35-0. 59 in) long. Flowers are fleshy, oblong, truncate and grow together. They also have 3 anthers with fruits that are caryopses and have an additional pericarp.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Grasses

Size
Size
7 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color
Brown

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun, Part Shade

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Dry slopes

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 4.5" - 51.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.20" - 2.52", Coldest Month: 39.3" - 55.3", Hottest Month: 62.7" - 86.5", Humidity: 0.01" - 37.97", Elevation: 162" - 7089"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Woody Melicgrass


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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