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Slender Orcutt Grass
(Orcuttia tenuis )
Poaceae (grass family)

Slender Orcutt Grass
Photo by Joe Molter, BLM

Description: Annual  grass of erect slender stems, 2 to 4 3/4 inches (5 to 12 cm) tall.  Spikelets, 2 to10, flowered with 1/8 inch (3 to 5 mm) long, sheathing bracts (glumes), 2 to 5 toothed at apex, with larger bracts (lemmas) 3/16 inch (4.5 to 6 mm) long, parted into 5 equal awn-tipped teeth. Spikes are glandular and sticky at flowering time. 

 Identifying Features:

  1. Sticky-glandular spikes.

  2.  Toothed lemmas.

Distribution: Within the public lands administered by the Alturas Field Office,  this species is found in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties in the Fall River Valley area at Green Place Reservoir southwest of Day, California. Also a few other locations occur on adjacent Lassen National Forest lands.

 Within public lands administered by the Redding Field Office, this species is found in Shasta and Tehama Counties on the east side of the Sacramento Valley.

Shasta and Siskiyou counties in the Fall River Valley area.

 Habitat: Grows on the bottom of vernal pools and some resevoirs, in grasslands, blue oak and oak-juniper woodlands and Jeffrey pine forests, at elevations from 300 to 3,600 feet (92 to 1097 meters).  Germinates under water and matures as water evaporates.

Flowering Period: May - July

Similar Plants: In the range of this plant there is nothing to get it confused with. All Orcuttia species are also listed and are of concern.

Status: Federal Threatened, California State Endangered, California Native Plant Society List 1B


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Diagram of Plant Parts

Definitions of
Plant Status

Field Office: Redding, Alturas

Last updated: 08-05-2010