Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Deschampsia cespitosa
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Widely distributed throughout Washington; widely distributed throughout North America.

Habitat: From coastal marshes and moist prairies to alpine ridges, talus slopes, mountain meadows, and moist areas in the mountains in general.

Flowers: June-September

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Strongly tufted perennial, the culms several, hollow, 2-12 dm. tall.


Sheaths open, glabrous to scabrous; ligules acute or obtuse, at least 4 mm. long, often split, pubescent; blades stiff, usually involute, 1.5-3 mm. broad, scabrous on the lower side, with a few raised veins.


Inflorescence a panicle 8-25 cm. long, from open and drooping to narrow and erect; spikelets glistening, purplish to tawny, usually 2-flowered, but often with 3 flowers; glumes narrow, the first 1-nerved, 2.5-5 mm. long, the second 3-nerved, 3-6 mm. long; lemmas 2.5-4 mm. long, 5-nerved, the tip 4-toothed; awn attached near the base of the lemma, 2.5-4 mm. long; paleas shorter than the lemmas; rachilla prolonged beyond the uppermost flower.

Accepted Name:
Deschampsia cespitosa (L) Beauv.

(none provided)
ssp. cespitosa    Alaska to Greenland, south in the mountains to California and Georgia
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Deschampsia cespitosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Deschampsia cespitosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Deschampsia cespitosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Deschampsia cespitosa photos.

USDA Plants: Deschampsia cespitosa information.

24 photographs:
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