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ZOSTERACEAE EEL-GRASS FAMILY

Robert F. Thorne, Robert R. Haynes, C. Barre Hellquist & Gordon Leppig

Perennial herb (annual), submersed marine aquatic, rhizomed, glabrous; monoecious or dioecious. Stem: flat, leafy, creeping or short with wide, thick base. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked or tufted, < 2 m; sheath open or closed; blade linear, ribbon-like, tip entire to notched; stipules 0. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal spike, of limited distribution on plant, ± flat, enclosed by membranous, leaf-like bract in flower, also in fruit or not; flowers many, 2-rowed on 1 side of axis, each embedded in axis, enclosed by translucent, scale-like bract or not; peduncle not elongating. Staminate flower: perianth 0; stamen 1, anther generally sessile, 2-chambered; pollen thread-like, < 2 mm. Pistillate flower: perianth 0; ovary 1, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 1, stigmas 2. Fruit: ± achene.
3 genera, ± 18 species: seacoasts, worldwide; some species, especially Zostera marina, source of food for marine animals, some aboriginal humans. [Haynes 2000 FNANM 22:90–94] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Zosteraceae

ZOSTERA EEL-GRASS
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

Z. japonica Aschers. & Graebn.
NATURALIZED
Perennial herb (annual); roots 2 per node. Leaf: sheath open, with 2 membranous flaps; blade to 20(25) cm, (0.5)1–1.5(2) mm wide. Inflorescence: staminate flowers each subtended by 1 bract.
n=6. Occ. Shallow water, bays, estuaries; rooted generally 0–1 m below mean low tide. North Coast, expected elsewhere; to British Columbia; native to Pacific Asia. Apr–Aug {Noxious weed} [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 31 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Zostera, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=48947, accessed on Jul 31 2014

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Bioregions in which Zostera japonica occurs 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.
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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.