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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Smith's Melicgrass - Melica smithii

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Melica smithii occurs sporadically across Montana, growing in cool, moist woods. Data indicate that it is under-collected rather than being rare.
General Description
Bunchgrass Stems 60–100 cm tall, from a slender base. Leaves: blades 6–12 mm wide, ligules 2–4 mm long. Inflorescence a narrow panicle or raceme 10–30 cm long, branches solitary, spreading or bent downwards. Spikelets 12–18 mm long. Lemmas: 3 to 5 per spikelet, with a 2–8 mm awn borne from the tip (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
Southern British Columbia to Oregon, east to Alberta, Montana and Wyoming. Also known to Ontario and Michigan.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 31

(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)


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Hitchcock, C. L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, and J. W. Thompson. 1969. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part I: Vascular Cryptogams, Gymnosperms and Monocotyledons. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 914 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Britton, N. L. and A. B. Brown. 1913. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions. 2nd Edition in 3 Volumes. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. B13BRI01PAUS.
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Citation for data on this website:
Smith's Melicgrass — Melica smithii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from