Elytrigia stipifolia (Czern.ex Nevski) Nevski s.l. - Feathergrass-leaved wheatgrass.

Taxonomic position.

Family Poaceae Barnh. genus Elytrigia Desv.


Triticum intermedium var. stipifolium Czern.ex Sirj. et Lavr., Agropyron stipifolium Czern.ex Nevski, Agropyron cretaceum Klok. et Prokud., Elytrigia cretacea (Klok. et Prokud.) Klok.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial herbaceous plant; forms more or less dense tussocks without creeping subterranean shoots or, less frequently, with a few short creeping subterranean shoots. Stems are 40-80 cm high. Leaf blades are 0.5-2 (3) mm wide, convolute. Sheaths are naked, smooth, ciliate along the edges. The inflorescence is a compound spike. Spikes are about 10 cm long, lax, straight, non-friable. Spikelets are large, with 3-6 flowers set on the rachis one by one in two longitudinal rows, sessile. Glumes are leathery, sharp; the lower ones are usually 7-9 mm long, with 5-7 nerves, 1-2 mm shorter than the adjacent lemma. The lemma is 6-8 mm long, broadly lanceolate, gently obtuse, naked and smooth. Wind- and self-pollinated plant. Autochore. Propagated by seed. Develops few mature caryopsides. Blossoms in June; bears fruit in July. 2n = 28.


Endemic species, inhabiting the south of Russia: Krasnyanskaya steppe in Novokhopersk District, Voronezh Province; Miussk forest area in Voronezh Province; foothills and the northern slope of the Main Caucasian Range and the eastern areas of the Ukraine (westwards up to the vicinities of Kharkov, and in Crimea).


Grows in motley-feathergrass, feathergrass and fescue-feathergrass virgin steppes; often on the outcrops of chalk beds. In the Caucasus occurs from the foothills up to the subalpine zone.

Utilization and economic value.

Forage. Medium nutritional qualities. May be employed in wheat breeding.

Reference citations:

Galushko, A.I., 1980. Flora of the North Caucasus. The manual Rostov University, vol.1, p. 107 (in Russian).
Red Book of the RSFSR (plants), 1988. Golovanov.s V.D. (ed.), Moscow: Rosagropromizdat, p.354 (in Russian).
Tsvelev, N.N. 1976. Cereal grasses of the USSR. Leningrad, Nauka, 788 pp. (in Russian).

© Chukhina I.G.

Copyright to picture belongs to Chukhin E.

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