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Timber Oatgrass
Danthonia intermedia

About Timber Oatgrass (Danthonia intermedia) Danthonia intermedia is a species of grass known by the common names timber oatgrass and intermediate oatgrass. This clumping erect perennial grass is native to North America, where it is widespread across most of Canada and along the western United States. It is a plant of the plains as well as forested, mountainous, alpine environments. The grass reaches about half a meter in height at maximum. Its leaves are short and mostly basal. Each flower cluster is a narrow cluster of up to about ten spikelets, each spikelet holding 3 to 6 florets. The flowers are cleistogamous, meaning they remain closed and pollinate themselves. This grass also sometimes undergoes apomixis, reproduction without fertilization. This independence of the need for pollination between individuals is one reason why this grass is so widespread and able to tolerate a variety of climates. This is a desirable grass for grazing land because it begins growing earlier in the spring than most other grasses, and it tolerates heavy grazing better than some other grasses because of its basal meristem, that is, new growth occurs low on the grass instead of on the tip where it can be chewed off. This grass is an indicator of ecological climax in many ecosystems.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 ft (0.49 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Meadows, bogs, Moist banks

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
952' - 11937'

Annual Precip. ?
18.6" - 154.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.47" - 5.80"

Coldest Month ?
19.5° F - 50.1° F

Hottest Month ?
42.2° F - 77.1° F

Humidity ?
0.73 vpd - 24.68 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy soils


Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Intermediate Oatgrass

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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