Page author: Don Knoke
Pleuropogon refractus
nodding false semaphore grass

Distribution: Southern British Columbia south in both the Southern British Columbia south in both the Olympics and Cascades of Washington, and the Cascades and coastal mountain of Oregon, to Mendocino County, California.

Habitat: Bogs, stream banks, swampy meadows,and moist, shaded woods, from near sea level toabout 5000 feet elevation in the mountains.

Flowers: May - August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Rhizomatous perennial, the culms 10-15 dm. tall, hollow, usually glabrous.


Sheathes closed at the base, but open for the upper 2-7 cm.; ligules 1.5-3.5 mm. long; blades 3-7 mm. broad, sometimes the uppermost reduced to 1 cm. in length.


Inflorescence a loose raceme 10-25 cm. long; spikelets 5-12, widely spaced, becoming reflexed, 7- to 11-flowered, up to 3 cm. long; glumes scarious, translucent, the first 4-5 mm. long, the second 6-7 mm. long, somewhat lobed; lemmas rounded on the back, with 7 prominent, non-converging nerves, 7-8 mm. long, often tri-lobed at the tip, with a terminal awn 3-10 mm. long; palea shorter than the lemma, with 2 winged keels .

Accepted Name:
Pleuropogon refractus (A. Gray) Benth. ex Vasey
Publication: Grass. U.S. 40. 1883.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Lophochlaena refracta A. Gray, superfluous renaming (illegitimate)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Pleuropogon refractus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Pleuropogon refractus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Pleuropogon refractus information.

E-Flora BC: Pleuropogon refractus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Pleuropogon refractus photos.

USDA Plants: Pleuropogon refractus information.

16 photographs:
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