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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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S. Galen Smith, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; generally bisexual. Stem: generally 3-sided, generally solid. Leaf: generally 3-ranked; base sheathing, sheath generally closed, ligule generally 0; blade (0 or) linear, parallel-veined. Inflorescence: spikelets generally arranged in head-, spike-, raceme-, or panicle-like inflorescences; flower generally sessile in axil of flower bract, enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) or generally not. Flower: small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or generally bristle like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4 chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 2–3-branched. Fruit: achene, 2–3 sided.
± 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. [Ball et al. 2002 FNANM 23:1–608] Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be pistillate flowers in fact are highly reduced inflorescences (whether or not the same applies to staminate flowers is still under debate). In some other works (e.g., FNANM) these are called spikelets, and they are treated as being arranged in spikes. Here and in TJM (1993), what appear to be pistillate flowers are called pistillate flowers in Carex (and they are treated as being arranged in spikelets), but spikelets in Kobresia (and they are treated as being arranged into spikes). Though internally inconsistent, the approach here is consistent with traditional usage, and reflects a preference for character states that may be determined in the field. —Scientific Editors: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445; Bruhl 1995 Australian Syst Bot 8:125–305]

Key to Cyperaceae


Gordon C. Tucker

Annual, glabrous. Stem: ± erect, 1–20 cm. Leaf: basal, 1–3. Inflorescence: inflorescence bracts 1–3, leaf-like; spikelets in dense, spheric to cylindric spikes, 50–150, dense, spiraled, sessile; flower bracts spiraled, 100–400, (1)2 per flower (a 2nd, inner bract between flower, spikelet axis generally present), outer > inner, mucronate to awned, brown, with 1 central green, 2–10 lateral ± white veins, inner generally colorless, generally veinless. Flower: bisexual; perianth 0; stamens 1–3, anthers 0.2–0.3 mm; styles 2-branched. Fruit: 3-angled to ± flat, abruptly soft-pointed, papillate, brown.
± 35 species: North America, tropics, warm temperate. (Greek: falling chaff, from translucent inner flower bract) [Tucker 2002 FNANM 23:195–197]
Unabridged references: [Goetghebeur & van den Borre 1989 Wageningen Agr Univ Pap 89:1–87]

Key to Lipocarpha

L. occidentalis (A. Gray) G.C. Tucker
Stem: 1–7 cm. Inflorescence: spikes 1–2, 2–3 mm, ± dense, generally ± spheric; outer flower bract body 0.5–0.8 mm, awn (0.6)1–1.5 mm, inner flower bract ± = fruit. Fruit: 0.5–0.6 mm, widest at or just below tip, fine-pitted, light brown; faces convex.
Wet soil, especially emergent shorelines; 1200–1900 m. Outer North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, Peninsular Ranges; to Washington. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 18 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Lipocarpha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 18 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Lipocarpha occidentalis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.