Danthonia californica lies within the domain Eukarya because it has a nucleus which differeniates it from being Prokaryotic. Its Kingdom is Plantae, this clade includes flowering plants, conifers, gymnosperms, ferns and more; California oatgrass fits into this kingdom because it is a flowering plant. Next, it is in the Phylum Anthophyta because again, it is a flowering plant and angiosperms are flower producing plants. (In relation, the superdivision of this oatgrass is Spermatophyta because it is seed producing and the division below the superdivision is flowering plant). The California oatgrass is both seed producing and a flowering pants which allows us to place it into these taxonomic levels. Next, Danthonia californica is in the Class of Liliopsida because it is a seed producing plant that has an embryo with only one cotyledon and veins that run parallel in the leaves.  Liliopsida is thought to be a synonym for the name Monocotyledon, because the root word "Mono" means one, therefore stating that the species in this class have one cotyledon. A subclass of the Monocotyledones is Commelinidae, along with three other subclasses that California oatgrass does not belong to. This specie then falls into the order Cyperales which is an order of Monocotyledoneous plants that extends into the family Poaceae. Poaceae, also referred to as Gramineae or true grasses, is a very large family of flowering plants that contains domesticated and wild species. California Oatgrass then falls into the Genus of Danthonia which is a large genus consisting of perennial grasses that tend to have narrow leaves. This perennial grass family of Poaceae has six subfamilies that all contain the characteristics that species within Poaceae have, one being their erect structures; these subfamilies include Panicoideae, Arundinoideae, Chloridoideae, Centothecoideae, Aristidoideae, and Danthonioideae (Barker et al. 2006). The genus Danthonia contains many species, close to a hundred, and Danthonia californica is one of them. Each of the species in this genus all differentiate significantly between one another. Danthonia californica is known to be in the Aveneae tribe within the series of Festuciformes. Festuciformes, along with the three other series Phragmitiformes, Eupanicoidae, and Chloroidoidae all belong to the family Gramineae (Wet, de J. M. J., 1954).  DNA sequence data was used from three chloroplast regions and one nuclear region to figure out the relationships of the genera in the subfamilies. Nine clades were retrieved by the data; at the base of the subfamily, three relationships are understood which have three clades of Merxmuellera species. The earliest clade that diverged most likely does not belong to Danthonioideae, which as said before is a subfamily of the Poaceae.  The other two clades are around the tropical African mountains and Cape mountains. A clade from North and South America, as well as New Guinea is observed (Barker et al. 2006). Danthonia californica is a specie found in mostly the southern hemisphere, however  this oatgrass moved north into the western coast of the United States inhabiting  Northwestern California in the North American continent. Arundinoideae is monophyletic, meaning it descended from a common evolutionary ancestor that is not shared with any other group. The genus Danthonia has encountered many changes throughout its creation. The specie D. forskalii R. Br. and D. glauca Nees to make an entirely diffrent genus called Asthenatherum which is very different than the previous genus they were in which was Danthonia (Wet, de J., M., J., 1954).

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