Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Pleuropogon refractus
nodding semaphoregrass

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to 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

Pollination: Wind


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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