Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Aira praecox
early silver-hair grass

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia south to California; Nova Scotia south to Virginia in eastern North America.

Habitat: Gravelly prairies, sea bluffs and dunes near the coast, also in other disturbed, open areas at low elevations.

Flowers: April-September

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Delicate annuals, the culms 1 to several, 3-30 cm. tall, hollow, smooth or somewhat roughened.


Sheaths open; ligules 1-3 mm. long, puberulent, the tip acute or blunt; blades scarcely 0.5 mm. broad.


Inflorescence a congested panicle, 1-3 cm. long, the branches erect; spikelets 2-flowered; glumes 3-3.5 mm. long; lemmas about 3 mm. long, both awned, the awns 2-3 mm. long, attached below mid-length, twisted and bent.



Accepted Name:
Aira praecox L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 65-66. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Aspris praecox (L.) Nash
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Aira praecox checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Aira praecox atlas page.

CalPhotos: Aira praecox photos.

USDA Plants: Aira praecox information.

5 photographs:
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