Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Koeleria macrantha
Koeler's prairie grass, prairie Junegrass

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to northern Mexico, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast except in the southeastern U.S.

Habitat: Sagebrush deserts, prairies, and open forests to subalpine ridges, mostly on sandy to rocky soil.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Strongly tufted perennial, the culms 3-6 dm. tall, glabrous to downy.


Sheaths open, the collar often with straight hairs 1-1.5 mm. long; ligules 0.5-2 mm. long, strongly pubescent; blades 1-2 mm. broad, basally tufted, usually folded to involute, mostly 2-6 cm. long, the tips prow-shaped.


Inflorescence a congested, spike-like panicle 4-13 cm. long, the branches short; spikelets mostly 2-flowered; glumes keeled, usually awnless, the first 3-5 mm. long, 1-nerved, the second 4-6 mm. long, 3-nerved, broader than the first, equaling the first floret; lemmas 3.5-5 mm. long, 5-nerved, awnless or awn-tipped; paleas 2-nerved, shorter than the lemmas; stamens 3.

Accepted Name:
Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult.
Publication: Mant. 2: 345. 1824.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Koeleria cristata Pers. [HC]
Koeleria cristata Pers. var. longifolia Vasey ex Burtt Davy
Koeleria cristata Pers. var. pinetorum Abrams
Koeleria gracilis Pers.
Koeleria nitida Nutt.
Koeleria yukonensis Hultén
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Koeleria macrantha in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Koeleria macrantha checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Koeleria macrantha information.

E-Flora BC: Koeleria macrantha atlas page.

CalPhotos: Koeleria macrantha photos.

USDA Plants: Koeleria macrantha information.

20 photographs:
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