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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Prairie Junegrass - Koeleria macrantha
Other Names:  Koeleria cristata, Koeleria nitida, Koeleria pyramidata

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Cool season, perennial bunchgrass. Stems 20–60 cm. Leaves: blades 1–3 mm wide, flat and ascending; sheaths with overlapping margins; ligule membranous. Inflorescence a contracted to occasionally open pyramidal panicle 4–11 cm long. Spikelets 4–5 mm long with 2 to 4 florets; glumes somewhat enclosing the florets. Lemmas awnless or with a very short awn <1 mm long; palea very well developed. Disarticulation above glumes; unit of dispersal the floret or fruit (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Throughout nearly all of North America excepting some very southeastern states and very northwestern provinces (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 3431

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Low to middle elevations in sagebrush steppe, dry montane meadows, and other open dry sites with high native cover (indicative of infrequent disturbance). (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Buckmaster, 2015. Community Composition Analysis of Altered Vegetation Communities Following the Release of Grazing Pressure. M.S. Thesis, Montana State Univ., Bozeman, Montana.
    • Foster, J. W. 1977. Impact of off-road vehicle traffic on soils and vegetation on rangeland in southeastern Montana and photographic monitoring of the effects. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 168 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Prairie Junegrass — Koeleria macrantha.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from