Saskatchewan grasses an annotated list of native and naturalized species of

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[from: Harms, Vernon L. 2010. An Annotated Catalogue of Saskatchewan Vascular Plants. The W.P. Fraser Herbarium, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. (an unpublished work in progress)

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This annotated compilation listing the Saskatchewan species of the Grass Family, Poaceae, was taken from the Annotated Catalogue of Saskatchewan Vascular Plants, an ongoing updated compilation of the native and naturalized vascular plants (pteridophytes, conifers and flowering plants) recorded in the uncultivated flora of Saskatchewan.

Numerous taxonomic (and resultant nomenclatural) changes have been proposed for the grasses differing from the treatments largely accepted in the 20th century. Most recently proposed taxonomic revisions with their associated name changes have been accepted in this catalogue, most especially if included in Vol. 24 (2007) and Vol. 25 (2003) of the Flora of North America, north of Mexico (FNA). Oxford University Press. But, in a relatively few cases when personal knowledge and experiences dictated otherwise, my preferred taxonomic interpretation was followed instead.

In this catalogue, the genera, species, subspecies, and varieties are listed alphabetically under the family. Taxonomic forms (formae) are not included. For each taxon entry, the accepted scientific name is given with its authorship, followed by its common name(s). Since plant common names are not standardized, several may be used for a single species, and the more frequent ones are given here. Listed in square brackets following the common names, are the more important scientific name synonyms with their authorships, allowing for an interconnecting and interrelating of alternative names for taxa that may be found in presently used floral manuals and reference sources. Cross-referencing is provided for alternate names often used in more recent literature for genus-level name changes, although not for changes of species’ epithets within the same genus; however, the listed synonyms should help to clarify these.

Finally, following the synonomy list for each listed taxon, are given brief status indicators for presence/origin status, and for rarity/abundance status:

Presence and Origin Status Indicators:

N -- native taxa: the indigenous or original species in Saskatchewan prior to European settlement.

In -- naturalized exotic taxa (broadly defined as all non-native plant taxa, whether deliberately or accidentally introduced, that have become established in the natural flora, excluding cultivated plants and adventive plants never becoming naturally established).

ADV? -- introduced taxa that possibly may be either only adventive (casual) rather than truly established (naturalized), or not persistent to the present if temporarily established.

VER? -- reported taxa, whether native or introduced, presumed as very likely to be present in Saskachewan, but lacking firm confirmation. Most previously reported taxa lacking confirmation, deemed unlikely to be present, or with their reported bases likely erroneous, have been excluded from the main catalogue, but are listed in Appendix 1.

HYB -- a putative hybrid taxon (formal epithets preceded by “ x\” ).

Rarity/Abundance Designations Assigned for Native Taxa:

N EXT? -- probably extirpated (recorded previously but apparently no longer existing in the province).

N HIST -- historical record, perhaps no longer

N END -- endangered (critically threatened by human or natural factors with extirp-ation throughout all of its Saskatchewan range because of extreme rarity). Typically 5 or fewer sites in the province or locally sparse at all sites.

N THR -- threatened (imperiled by its rarity and likely to become endangered in Saskatchewan). Typically found at 6–15 sites in the province and usually locally sparse.

N VUL -- vulnerable (sensitive taxa likely at risk because of low or declining numbers and thus of special concern, but with no obvious immediate endangerment). Typically found at 16–25 sites in the province, and often locally sparse.

N UC -- uncommon (apparently secure in Saskatchewan but possibly of potential long-term concern because not frequent or numerous in the flora).

N FC -- fairly common and reasonably secure in Saskatchewan.

N C -- common (many occurrences and apparently secure in Saskatchewan).

N CC -- very common or abundant (demonstrably secure with many widespread occurrences in Saskatchewan and often locally numerous).

N U? -- status uncertain in Saskatchewan due to limited or confused information.

N UR? -- rare, with status undetermined pending more information.

? -- a question mark following any abbreviation denotes uncertainty due to limited information.

Rarity/Abundance Designations Assigned for Naturalized Introduced Taxa:

In PERS? -- introduced and once apparently naturalized, but persistence in the Saskatchewan flora is uncertain or unlikely.

In R -- single or very few known occurrences.

In UC -- uncommon (not frequent or numerous in the flora).

In FC -- fairly common.

In C -- common with many occurrences.

In CC -- very common or abundant (with numerous and widespread occurrences, and usually locally numerous).

In U? -- status uncertain in Saskatchewan because of limited or conflicting information.

? -- a question mark after any abbreviation denotes uncertainty because of limited information.

The rarity/abundance categories are based on the author’s judgements. They are not given for taxa lacking certain verification in the province nor usually for listed hybrids.

In addition, for those native taxa deemed of provincial rarity concern (e.g., EXT?, END, THR, and VUL), the Nature Conservancy provincial (“S”) rarity rankings (“Element Ranks”), as assigned by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre, are given in parentheses following my designations. These Nature Conservancy Element Ranks are briefly defined as follows:

The Nature Conservancy Provincial Rarity Rankings:


X -- Presumed extinct (globally) or extirpated (provincially). After intensive searching, there appears virtually no likelihood of rediscovery.

H -- Historical occurrence only, without recent verification, so possibly extinct (or extirpated), but thorough searches are still needed to preclude it being extant.

1 -- Critically imperiled because of extreme rarity or some factor(s) making it particularly vulnerable to extinction (or extirpation). Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, or very few remaining individuals (<1000).

2 -- Imperiled because of rarity or because some factor(s) makes it very vulnerable to extinction (or extirpation). Typically 6 to 20 occurrences, or few remaining individuals (1,000 to 3,000).

3 -- Vulnerable either because very rare and local throughout its range, or found only in a restricted range (even if abundant in some locations), or because of other factor(s) making it vulnerable to extinction (or extirpation). Rare to uncommon, with typically 21 to 100 occurrences, or between 3,000 to 10,000 individuals.

4 -- Apparently secure, uncommon but not rare (although may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery), and usually widespread. Apparently not vulnerable in most of its range, but possibly with cause for long-term concern. Typically more than 100 occurrences, and over 10,000 individuals.

5 -- Demonstrably secure -- common, widespread, and abundant (although it may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery). Not vulnerable in most of its range. Typically with considerably more than 100 occurrences and 10,000 individuals.

? -- Unranked or uncertain -- rank either not yet assessed or considered inexact.

R -- Reported but lacking persuasive documentation to provide basis for either accepting or rejecting the report.

RF -- Reported falsely, with the error persistent in literature.

Q -- Questionable taxonomy -- taxonomic difficulties existing with the taxon’s distinctiveness at its current level that need resolution.

U -- Unrankable currently due to a lack of, or conflicting information.

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Some Abbreviations:

Some Latin words or abbreviations frequently associated with botanical nomenclature that may be encountered in the present list, include the following:

Abbrev. Latin Term English Meaning

auct. auctor = “of authors” -- names used by some authors not

presently accepted as true taxonomic synonyms.

ex ex = a preposition meaning “according to”

and used here to refer to an author who first validly

published a plant name, but credited it to another.

nom. illeg. nomen illegitimum = “unlawful”, an illegitimate name contrary to the I.C.B.N.

(International Code of Botanical Nomenclature)

non non = “not”

incl. includens = “including”

s.str. sensu stricto = “in a narrow sense” sensu lato = “in a broad sense”

p.p. pro parte = “in part”

sphalm. sphalmate = “by mistake” (referring to long-persisting spelling errors).

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POACEAE (=GRAMINEAE) (Grass Family):

Achnatherum Beauv.:

Achnatherum hymenoides (R.& S.) Barkw. – INDIAN RICE-GRASS. [Oryzopsis hymenoides (R. & S.) Rich. ex Pip.]. N C. Sand dunes & open sandy prairie (Grassland & Parkland regions).

Achnatherum nelsonii (Scribn.) Barkw. ssp. nelsonii – BIG COLUMBIA NEEDLE- GRASS; NELSON’S RICEGRASS. [Stipa nelsonii Scribn.; S. columbiana Macoun var. n. (Scribn.) St. John; S. occidentalis Thurb. ex S.Wats. var. nelsonii (Scribn.) C.L. Hitchc.]. N VER?
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