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Key to families | Table of families and genera
This text currently parallels The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition that is now available at the University of California Press.
Text appearing in blue on this page will not appear in the printed book; it will be displayed only on the Web. 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.
Annual, perennial herb, generally forming mats, glabrous, internal air cavities evident; caudex generally 0; rhizomes generally evident, long, scaly, bulb or tuber at tip generally 0.
Stem: simple, generally erect, smooth, generally not hollow; tip generally not rooting.
Leaf: 2, basal, blades 0 or tooth-like, <= 1 mm.
Inflorescence: inflorescence bracts 0; spikelet terminal, 1, generally ovate, not ± flat [(± flat)], generally not forming plantlets, flowers 3–100+; flower bracts spiraled [(2-ranked)], each with 1 flower in axil, generally ovate, generally brown, generally membranous, smooth, tip generally acute to obtuse, notch 0; basal flower bract generally encircling stem, generally < 1/2 spikelet, flower generally 0.
Flower: bisexual; perianth parts reduced to bristles, 0–8, generally ± <= fruit, barbs generally recurved; stamens generally 3; style 1, thread-like, base enlarged, generally persistent on fruit as tubercle.
Fruit: generally obovate, generally brown; tubercle (0 or) generally distinct, generally pyramidal.
± 200 species: tropics to boreal. (Greek: marsh-dwelling grace) [Smith et al. 2002 FNANM 23:60–120] Eleocharis lanceolata Fernald, Eleocharis equisetoides Torr. not in CA.
Unabridged etymology: (Greek heleios, dwelling in a marsh, and Charis, grace)
1. St 4-angled, 1–5.4 mm diam ..... E. quadrangulata
1' St rarely 4-angled, if so then < 1 mm diam
2. Rhizomes, caudices 0; annual (perennial herb)
3. Distal leaf sheath delicate, often disintegrating; basal flower bract with a flower; stigmas 3; fruit with ± 6–10 longitudinal ridges, many fine transverse bars; plants 1–7 cm ..... E. bella (2)
3' Distal leaf sheath firm, persistent; basal flower bract with a flower or not; stigmas 2–3; fruit smooth; plants 1–50 cm
4. Fr black (brown when immature); tubercle not completely adherent to fruit, not flat
5. Fr 0.3–0.5 mm; perianth bristles generally ± white; flower bracts membranous ..... E. atropurpurea
5' Fr 0.5–1.1 mm; perianth bristles generally red-brown; flower bracts membranous to papery ..... E. geniculata
4' Fr brown; tubercle completely adherent to fruit, flat
6. Tubercle <= 1/4 fruit; perianth bristles 0 or 5–8, vestigial, << fruit, or ± = fruit ..... E. engelmannii
7. Perianth bristles 0 or vestigial, << fruit ..... var. detonsa
7' Perianth bristles ± = fruit ..... var. engelmannii
6' Tubercle >= 1/3 fruit; perianth bristles (0 or) 5–7, to generally much exceeding tubercle
8. Tubercle 0.5–0.8 mm wide, 2/3–9/10 as wide as fruit ..... E. obtusa
8' Tubercle 0.3–0.5 mm wide, 1/2–3/4 as wide as fruit ..... E. ovata
2' Rhizomes or caudices present; perennial herb (annual)
9. Distal leaf sheath delicately membranous, often disintegrating; stem 0.2–1 mm diam
10. Basal flower bract without a flower; fruit with 2–3 longitudinal angles, 0 transverse bars
11. Fr 2-sided; distal leaf sheath tip much inflated, generally wrinkled; tubercle distinct from fruit; rhizome tip without tuber ..... E. flavescens var. flavescens
11' Fr (2)3-sided; distal leaf sheath not inflated or wrinkled; tubercle often merging with fruit or vestigial; rhizome tip often with tuber
12. Perianth bristles 0 or vestigial or ± 1/2 fruit; fruit finely roughened; rhizome tip tubers 0 or wide-oblong to spheric, not curved; generally inland ..... E. coloradoensis
12' Perianth bristles (vestigial or) generally = fruit to ± exceeding tubercle; fruit smooth; rhizome tip tubers 0 or oblong, often curved; generally coastal ..... E. parvula
10' Basal flower bract with a flower; fruit with 6–12 longitudinal ridges, many fine transverse bars
13. Fl bract 1–1.5 mm, tip narrow-acute to acuminate, ± recurved; anthers 0.3–0.5 mm ..... E. bella (2)
13' Fl bract 1.5–2.5(3.5) mm, tip blunt to acute, not recurved; anthers 0.3–1.5 mm
14. Anthers <= 0.5 mm; stem very spongy, without angles or ridges, 0.4–1 mm diam ..... E. radicans
14' Anthers 0.7–1.5 mm; stem not very spongy, often with 3–12 angles or ridges, 0.2–0.5(0.7) mm diam ..... E. acicularis
15. Fr 2 × longer than wide; stem often 3–4-angled, base not corm-like ..... var. acicularis
15' Fr < 2 × longer than wide; stem often 5–12-ridged, base corm-like or not
16. St to 60 cm, base not corm-like ..... var. gracilescens
16' St to 6 cm, base corm-like ..... var. occidentalis
9' Distal leaf sheath firmly membranous to papery, persistent; stem 0.2–4 mm diam
17. Distal leaf sheath tips some or all with tooth-like projection to 1 mm
18. Stigmas 2; fruit 2-sided; basal flower bracts not completely clasping stem and/or at least some spikelets with next-to-basal bract without flower ..... E. macrostachya (2)
18' Stigmas 3; fruit 3-sided; basal flower bracts completely clasping stem, next-to-basal bract with flower
19. Fl bracts 5–10 per 1 mm of spikelet (spikelet 4–12 mm, flower bracts 30–100), tips wide-rounded, often transversely wrinkled and recurved ..... E. montevidensis (2)
19' Fl bracts 3–4 per 1 mm of spikelet (spikelet 3–20 mm, flower bracts 15–40), tips rounded to acute, not transversely wrinkled, not recurved ..... E. parishii (2)
17' Distal leaf sheath tips without tooth-like projection
20. Stigmas 2; fruit 2-sided; basal flower bract without flower
21. Basal flower bracts, or at least some, clasping >= 3/4 of stem, next-to-basal with a flower or not ..... E. macrostachya (2)
21' Basal flower bracts clasping 2/3 to 3/4 of stem, next-to-basal without a flower ..... E. palustris
20' Stigmas (2)3; fruit (2)3-sided; basal flower bract with or without flower
22. Rhizome mostly hidden by stems and/or >= 3 mm diam, often caudex-like, tip without enlarged bud or bulb
23. St sharp-4-angled; spikelets often forming plantlets ..... E. pachycarpa
23' St not sharp-4-angled; spikelets not forming plantlets (stem tips often rooting in Eleocharis rostellata)
24. Sts ± flat, some elongating and arching, tips often rooting; flower bracts 3.5–6 mm; fruit 1.5–2.5 mm ..... E. rostellata
24' St subcylindric, not elongating and arching, tips not rooting; flower bracts 2–3.5 mm; fruit 0.8–1.2 mm
25. Rhizome 1.5–3 mm diam, hidden by stems; flower bracts dark brown; stem 0.3–0.5 mm diam ..... E. bolanderi
25' Rhizome 3–5 mm diam, mostly not hidden by stems; flower bracts medium brown; stem 0.3–2 mm diam ..... E. decumbens
22' Rhizome not hidden by stems, <= 2 mm diam, tip with enlarged bud or bulb
26. Fl bracts 1.5–2.5 mm; rhizome tough, tip without enlarged bud or bulb; tubercle distinct from fruit; basal flower bract < 1/2 spikelet
27. Fl bract tips in proximal 1/2 of spikelet wide-rounded, generally transversely wrinkled and recurved; fruit fine-wrinkled at 10–30× ..... E. montevidensis (2)
27' Fl bract tips in proximal 1/2 of spikelet rounded to acute, generally not transversely wrinkled and recurved; fruit smooth, wrinkled, or lattice-like at 10–30× ..... E. parishii (2)
27A. Spikelets narrow-lanceolate to cylindric; fruit brown, smooth or lattice-like at 10–30×; rhizomes with longer internodes 5–30 mm ..... E. parishii
27A' Spikelets ovate; fruit yellow, brown, green, or yellow-green, fine-wrinkled, generally lattice-like at 10–20×; rhizomes with longer internodes 2–10 mm ..... [E. tenuis var. tenuis]
26' Fl bracts 2.5–6 mm; rhizome weak, tip often with enlarged bud or bulb; tubercle often ± not distinct from fruit; basal flower bract generally >= 1/2 spikelet
28. St-tuft base generally swollen, often with bulbs; rhizome tip often with bulb; caudex generally 0 ..... E. quinqueflora
28' St-tuft base not swollen, without bulbs; rhizome tip without bulb; caudex present
29. St 1.5–2.5 mm wide, flat, spirally twisted; n SNH ..... E. torticulmis
29' St 0.5–1.2 mm wide, cylindric to ± flat, not spirally twisted; NW, CaRH, SN, SnFrB, TR, DMtns
30. St strongly arched; perianth bristles 4–7, some < 1/2 fruit, others equaling or exceeding tubercle; TR ..... E. bernardina
30' St generally straight; perianth bristles 6, longest = fruit to exceeding tubercle; NW, CaRH, SN, SnFrB, TR, DMtns ..... E. suksdorfiana
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [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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