Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Puccinellia distans
weeping alkaligrass, European alkali grass

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades in Washington; North-central British Columbia south, chiefly east of the Cascades, to California, east through most of Canada and to the east base of the Rockies.

Habitat: Moist soil, especially where alkaline.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Introduced

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted perennial, the culms 1-4 dm. tall, hollow, glabrous to slightly rough.


Sheaths open; ligules 1 mm. long, entire, obtuse; blades flat, 1.5-3.5 mm. broad.


Inflorescence an open panicle 5-15 cm. long, the branches spreading to reflexed; spikelets 5- to 6-flowered; glumes ovate, the first 1 mm. long, the second about 1.5 mm. long; lemmas broadly ovate, 1.6-1.8 mm. long, rounded on the back, with 5 non-converging nerves, sparsely hairy near the base; palea usually slightly exceeding the lemma.

Accepted Name:
Puccinellia distans (Jacq.) Parl.
Publication: Fl. Ital. 1: 367. 1848.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Poa distans Jacq.
Puccinellia distans (Jacq.) Parl. ssp. distans
Puccinellia distans (Jacq.) Parl. var. tenuis (Uechtr.) Fernald & Weath.
Puccinellia retroflexa (Curtis) Holmb.
Puccinellia suksdorfii H. St. John
Pucciniella distans (L.) Parl
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Puccinellia distans in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Puccinellia distans checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Puccinellia distans atlas page.

CalPhotos: Puccinellia distans photos.

USDA Plants: Puccinellia distans information.

14 photographs:
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