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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.


Perennial herb [annual] 5–100(150) cm; rhizomes generally 0. Stem: generally 3-angled, <= 2 mm diam, glabrous, margin often minute-scabrous. Leaf: few to many, basal and cauline, spiraled; blade > sheath, 0.5–3 mm wide, proximally flat, midrib abaxially keeled or not, margin generally, midrib occasionally scabrous; sheath permanently tubular (not splitting), glabrous; ligule present or 0. Inflorescence: generally several, terminal and axillary, branched [head]; spikelets several to many, cylindric, 3.5–5.5 mm, on short stalks with spikelet bracts; flower bracts ± 5, spiraled [2-ranked], each with 1 flower in axil or proximal 1 or more smaller, with 0 flower, and intergrading with spikelet bracts, 1.7–3.5(4) mm, ovate, membranous, glabrous, generally mucronate or short-awned. Flower: bisexual or occasionally distal-most staminate; perianth bristles 2–12[20], to ± exceeding tubercle, barbed, persistent on fruit [not]; style 2[3]-branched, base much enlarged, persistent on fruit as a prominent tubercle. Fruit: 2-sided [± cylindric], body (except tubercle) obovate to pear-shaped, smooth or winkled [variously sculptured otherwise], brown.
> 250 species: especially tropics. (Greek: snout seed) [Kral 2002 FNANM 23:200–239] Kral's (2002) statement that Rhynchospora kunthii Kunth, Rhynchospora recognita (Gale) Kral (treated here as a synonym of Rhynchospora globularis) are both in California is evidently undocumented.

Key to Rhynchospora

1. Perianth barbs reflexed; fruit ± smooth, base narrow-stalk-like

2. Perianth bristles 10–12; spikelets pale-brown to ± white ..... R. alba

2' Perianth bristles 5–7; spikelets brown to dark brown ..... R. capitellata

1' Perianth barbs ascending; fruit wrinkled, base wide-stalk-like or not stalk-like

3. Perianth bristles generally exceeding tubercle tip; fruit base wide-stalk-like ..... R. californica

3' Perianth bristles generally exceeded by tubercle base; fruit base not stalk-like ..... R. globularis


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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