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alpine timothy, mountain timothy, timothy grass

Habit Plants perennial; cespitose, sometimes shortly rhizomatous.
Culms

15-50 cm, often decum¬bent, lower internodes not en¬larged or bulbous.

Sheaths

of the flag leaves inflated;

auricles not developed, leaf edges sometimes wrinkled at the junction of the sheath and blade;

ligules 1-4 mm, truncate;

blades to 17 cm long, 4-7 mm wide, flat.

Panicles

1-6 cm long, 5-12 mm wide, usually 1.5-3 times as long as wide, subglobose to broadly cylindric, not tapering distally;

branches adnate to the rachises.

Glumes

2.5-4.5 mm, sides scabrous, keels hispid, apices awned, awns 0.8-2.5(3.2) mm;

lemmas 1.7-2.5 mm, about 3/4 as long as the glumes, mostly glabrous, keels hairy, hairs to 0.1 mm;

anthers 1-1.5(2) mm.

2n

= 14, 28.

Phleum alpinum

Discussion

Phleum alpinum grows along stream banks, on moist prairie hillsides, and in wet mountain meadows. It is a circumboreal species extending, in the Flora region, from northern North America southward through the mountains to Mexico and South America. It is also widespread in northern Eurasia. Isolated, depauperate plants of P. pratense may be difficult to distinguish from P. alpinum; there is never any difficulty in the field.

Kula et al. (2006) demonstrated that American and northern European plants of Phleum alpinum belong to the same taxon. They mistakenly identified the taxon as P. commutatum Gaudin. Because Humphries (1978) lectotypified P. alpinum on a plant from Lapland, it has priority over P. commutatum. North American plants belong to P. alpinum L. subsp. alpinum and are tetraploid. The count of 2n =14 applies to Phleum alpinum subsp. rhaeticum Humphries, which grows in the mountains of central and southern Europe.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Distribution
from FNA
AK; AZ; CA; CO; ID; ME; MI; MT; NH; NM; NV; OR; SD; UT; WA; WY; AB; BC; NB; NL; NS; NT; ON; QC; SK; YT; Greenland
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Parent taxa Poaceae > subfam. Pooideae > tribe Poeae > Phleum
Sibling taxa
P. arenarium, P. paniculatum, P. phleoides, P. pratense, P. subulatum
Synonyms P. commutatum var. americanum, P. commutatum, P. alpinum var. commutatum, P. alpinum subsp. commutatum
Name authority L.
Source Flora of North America vol. 24, p. 672.
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