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Koeleria macrantha
About Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) Nurseries Show All Photos Koeleria macrantha is a species in the Poaceae (Grass) family known by the common name Junegrass. It is native to much of North America, from Alaska to northern Mexico to the eastern United States. In California it is found from the coast to the mountains but is largely absent from the deserts and central valley. It occurs in a large number of habitat types, especially prairie. This is a short, tuft-forming perennial bunchgrass, reaching heights from 20 to 70 centimeters. The leaves are basal and up to about 20 centimeters long. The flower cluster is nearly cylindrical and may taper somewhat toward the tip. It holds shiny tan spikelets which are sometimes tinted with purple, each about half a centimeter long. It is a good forage for many types of grazing animals and is sometimes used in golf course rough.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
0.7 - 2.3 ft (0.21 - 0.7 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)


Growth Rate
Slow, Fast

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Yellow, Brown

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry open clay or rocky places

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
1' - 14243'

Annual Precip. ?
4.9" - 113.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 4.39"

Coldest Month ?
17.5° F - 56.7° F

Hottest Month ?
36.3° F - 84.4° F

Humidity ?
0.12 vpd - 35.52 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -15° F

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Use as an understory with Oaks (Quercus sp.) or other trees. Also useful in a meadow-like garden or rock garden with other native grasses, annual wildflowers, herbaceous perennials such as California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), succulents such as Dudleya spp., and various cactus species.

Wildlife Attracted
Plants in  the Koeleria genus are host plant for the Columbian Skipper butterfly

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Prairie Junegrass

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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