Melica is the genus, but I'm unsure of the species. I have it narrowed down to a few but I guess I'm too lazy to key it out. I can appreciate it already without knowing everything about it -- exactly what it is called -- but I fully admit this is only justification of my lazy botany habits. I do plan to fully figure it out, but this may not happen for a while.
"Melic" means melodious in Greek. Most of the members of this genus have the common name "onion grass." I don't understand either name.
|Melica sp., Marin, March 2013.|
Per the California Invasive Plant Council, E. erecta has a uniquely imprudent history of becoming an invasive plant -- it was brought here from South Africa in the mid-1900s and cultivated in Berkeley and Davis as an experimental grass. I guess it performed. I will spare you any photos of it -- I have a very hard time wasting frames of film on nasty invasive plants, strongly preferring natives due to my profession.
Also in the frame are poison oak (blurry in the background, but I remember it being there) and morning-glory (heart-shaped leaves in the foreground), two other natives that are significant components of the system where I took this picture. This was growing along a creek canyon filled with oaks. I am about to walk Bear Dog there now. I will listen for its melody, and search for its onion scent.