Directory       News       Site Map       Home
    Jepson eFlora
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.


Stem: < 3 m. Leaf: 0.5–1.5(2) m, (0.5)1–18.5 mm wide. Inflorescence: enclosed by subtending, membranous, sheath-like leaf base; staminate, pistillate flowers alternate. Pistillate flower: ovary tapered to short style.
12 species: marine waters worldwide. (Greek: from ribbon-like leaves) [Coyer et al. 2008 Ann Bot 101:73–87; Dean et al. 2008 Madroño 55:93–112] Important food source for marine animals, some aboriginal humans; Zostera asiatica Miki reported for California (Coyer et al., Dean et al.), possibly naturalized, but may not be distinct from Zostera marina.
Unabridged references: [Kato, Y. [et al. 2003], Aioi, K., Omori, Y., Takahata, N., & Satta, Y. 2003. Phylogenetic analyses of Zostera species based on rbcL and matK sequences: Implications for the origin and diversification of seagrasses in Japanese waters. Genes Genet. Syst. 78: 329–342; Les, D. H., Moody, M. L., Jacobs, S. W. L., & Bayer, R. J. 2001. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian seagrasses (family Zosteraceae). P. 123, in Botany 2001: Plants and People, Abstracts. [Albuquerque.]; Nomme & Harrison 1991 Canad J Bot 69:1984–1990; Phillips & Echeverria 1990 Pacific Sci 44:130–134]

Key to Zostera

1. Perennial herb (annual), perennial herb; roots 2 per node; leaf sheath open, with 2 membranous flaps; leaf blade to 20(25) cm, (0.5) 1–1.5 (2) mm wide; staminate flowers each subtended by 1 bract ..... Z. japonica

1' Perennial herb; roots 5–20 per node; leaf sheath closed, without membranous flaps; leaf blade to 110 cm, 1.5–18.5 mm wide; staminate flowers not subtended by bract (or lowermost subtended by 1 bract)

2. Leaves 1.5–12(16) mm wide, tip generally obtuse; seed with longitudinal ridges; plants of shallow waters in bays, estuaries, rooted generally 1–4 m below mean low tide; flower Mar–Jun, fruit May–Aug ..... Z. marina

2' Leaves 12–18.5 mm wide, tip generally notched; seed smooth or with weak longitudinal ridges; plants of subtidal waters, rooted generally 4–17 m below mean low tide; flower (May)Aug, fruit Sep–Oct ..... Z. pacifica


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].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.