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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



John R. Baird & John W. Thieret

Perennial herb, generally with rhizomes. Stem: erect, unbranched. Leaf: basal and cauline; sheath open, > internodes, glabrous, margin of sheath opening sometimes with long, shaggy hairs; ligule a fringe of hairs, 0.5–2 mm; blade flat to inrolled, long tapered, upper surface ridged. Inflorescence: panicle-like; each spike-like branch with 2 rows of overlapping spikelets on lower side of axis. Spikelet: laterally compressed, sessile, breaking below glumes, falling as 1 unit; glumes firmly membranous, obtuse to acuminate or with a small, sharp point, unequal, upper 1–3(5)-veined, generally > floret, lower 1-veined, < floret; floret 1; lemma 1(3)-veined, acute, awned or not, firmly membranous; palea ± = lemma, 2-veined. Fruit: achene-like, seed free from thin ovary wall.
15 species: America, Europe, Africa. (Greek: a cord) [Ayres et al. 2003 Madroño 50:209–213] Spartina anglica C.E. Hubb <WEEDINESS SYMBOL 1> introduced to San Francisco Bay Area (Creekside Park, Marin Co.).
Unabridged references: [Spicher & Josselyn 1985 Madroño 32:158–167]

Key to Spartina

1. Stem 5–14 mm wide at base, internodes fleshy; middle leaf blades generally flat when fresh or inrolled near tip, 4–25 mm wide at base; rhizome present; coastal

2. Inflorescence ± open, spikes loosely overlapping, loosely appressed or spreading (to 10°–20°) ..... S. alterniflora

2' Inflorescence dense, cylindric, spikes closely overlapping, generally closely appressed ..... S. foliosa

1' Stem 1.5–6 mm wide at base, internodes firm; middle leaf blades generally inrolled when fresh, 1–8 mm wide at base; rhizome sometimes 0; coastal or interior

3. Inflorescence open, spikes ascending to spreading (to ± 60°), lowest often not overlapping; coastal ..... S. patens

3' Inflorescence compact, spikes appressed, overlapping

4. Rhizome generally 0 (rarely present, short, stout); coastal ..... S. densiflora

4' Rhizome present, elongate, slender; interior ..... S. gracilis


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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