Page author: Don Knoke
Aira caryophyllea
silver hairgrass
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Introduced and common west of the Cascades, British Columbia to California

Habitat: A weed in moist to dry, gravelly soil

Flowers: May - August

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Delicate annuals, the culms 1 to several, 5-30 cm. tall, hollow, mostly glabrous.


Sheaths open; ligules 1.5-3.5 mm. long, puberulent, the tip blunt; blades involute, filiform, under 1 mm. broad.


Inflorescence an open panicle, up to 6 cm. long and nearly as broad; spikelets 2-flowered; glumes subequal, keeled, 2.5-2.8 mm. long, 1-nerved; lemmas rounded on the back, 3-nerved, bifid at the tip, 2-2.3 mm. long, both awned, the awns 2.5-3.5 mm. long, attached below mid-length, twisted and bent; lodicules small, lanceolate.



Accepted Name:
Aira caryophyllea L.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Aspris caryophyllea (L.) Nash
var. caryophyllea – silver hairgrass
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Aira caryophyllea in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Aira caryophyllea checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Aira caryophyllea atlas page.

CalPhotos: Aira caryophyllea photos.

USDA Plants: Aira caryophyllea information.

18 photographs:
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