Western coastal regions of
Elevation and Climate
In coastal areas climate is also affected by heavy wind in combination with abundant salt-spray. Fog is common in the summer. Climate is generally mild and moist to wet, with mean annual precipitation ranging from about 70 to 120 inches.
This species is found growing in areas of grassland balds and prairie (shallow to excessively drained deep soils)5 Serpentine bedrock is present in some areas. An important dominant grass in California coastal prairies especially in drier areas Also found in Coastal sagebrush,California oakwoods, Fescue-oatgrass  and Garry Oak6 plant communities.
Colonizers of early successional
Collect seeds from the seed head
or cleistogamous spikelets (or
“bud-like, unopened flowers”) from the base of the leaf
Collect seeds late summer, early fall, in July and August. Ripen seeds on cardboard sheets in a warm dry area for 24-48 hours15
This species is a relatively poor seed producer which has made commercial seed production prohibitive
In a germination test conducted by Dobrenz (1966) potassium nitrate treatment was the only condition under which both types of seeds (fertilized and cleistogamous seeds) germinated. Therefore it is possible that certain elements in the soils can affect germination requirements1
In germination studies by Keeley (2002) seeds were scarified by hand removal of the lemma and palea and stratified for 3 weeks at 3-4C15
This species has innate dormancy patterns (requiring specific environmental cues to germinate) and plant adaptations (e.g. hygroscopic awns that lodge beneath the soil) that likely cause seeds to persistent in the seedbank6
Store seeds in large zip-lock plastic bag in a coldroom at 3-4C15
Hoophouse propagation is recommended.15 Sow scarified seeds (removal of lemma and palea) in plastic flats, lined with newspaper. Keep flats at temperatures between 24-15C15
Moist peat mix 15
Propagated grass plugs
Plant densely, using 1 foot centers in groups of 3 or more plants.
Weed planting area before installation, follow-up with additional weeding and watering as needed.
Rate of growth
California oatgrass grows slowly and has weak seedling vigor, but is unique in that it stays green all year long.16 It grows in dense tufts reaching 15 to 35 inches tall and may control the spatial distribution of other grassland species.7
Data compiled by:
 Dobrenz, A. K.;Beetle, A. 1966. Cleistogenes in Danthonia. Journal of Range Management 19:292-296 Referred to in Maslovat, 2002.
 Selected Perennial Grasses Suitable for Foothill Rangeland,
 William I. Stein,
 Chappell, C. and Crawford,
R. 1997. Native Vegetation of the
 Maslovat, C. 2001. Historical Jigsaw Puzzles: Piecing Together the Understory of Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) Ecosystems and the Implications for Restoration. http://danr.ucop.edu/ihrmp/proceed/maslovat.pdf
 Hatch, D. A.;Bartolome, J. W.; Fehmi, J.S.;
Hillyard, D. S. 1999. Effects of Burning and Grazing
on a Coastal
M.M., and T.C. Foin 1977. Vegetation analysis of a
northern Califorinia prairie: Sea Ranch,
T.N., 1994. Rangeland cover types of the
A. W. 1964.
Referred to in Maslovat, 2002.
 FEIS (Fire Effects Information System) 1999. Botanical and ecological characteristics. http://www.fs.fed.us.database/feis/plants
1990. Complete Garden Guide to the Native Shrubs of
Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest.University
of Washington Press;
M.A. 2000.A Study in Urban Revegetation:Germination
and Establishment of
 Edminster, C.W. The Role of Native and Domestic Grasses in Erosion Control http://www.intlseed.com/documents/info_erosion_control.htm
 Knapp, E.;Rice,K. 1994. Isozyme tests of Elymus glaucus and Danthonia californica. Work in progress USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and Bureau of Land Management. Referred to in Maslovat, 2002
 Laude, H.M. 1949. Delayed