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S. Galen Smith, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; monoecious, dioecious, or flowers 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: unisexual or bisexual, 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. [Gilmour et al. 2013 Kew Bull 68:85–105] Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be individual 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 individual 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. Molecular, morphological, and embryological evidence indicates that Eriophorum crinigerum is to be segregated to a new genus, as Calliscirpus criniger (A. Gray) C.N. Gilmour et al., along with a second, newly described species, Calliscirpus brachythrix C.N. Gilmour et al. (Gilmour et al. 2013); key to genera modified by Peter W. Ball to include Calliscirpus. —Scientific Editors: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Ball et al. 2002 FNANM 23:1–608; Bruhl 1995 Australian Syst Bot 8:125–305; Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445;]

Key to Cyperaceae

Perennial herb, erect, 50–200 cm, rhizomed, tubers durable. Stem: simple, sharply 3-angled, glabrous or angles scabrous, evident internal air cavities 0, not hollow. Leaf: basal and cauline, 3-ranked; sheath closed, long; ligule 0; blade generally present, long, thin, flat, V-shaped near base, keeled abaxially, margin, keel ± scabrous. Inflorescence: 1, terminal, panicle- (or head-) like, appearing with leaves; branches often scabrous; inflorescence bracts like leaf blades, main 1 > inflorescence; spikelets ± ovate, not ± flat, flower bracts spiraled, >= 25, each with 1 flower in axil, ± ovate, membranous to papery, puberulent (glabrous in age), brown to ± colorless, tip notched 0.5–1 mm, generally with curved awn often broken off. Flower: bisexual; perianth of 3–6 bristles, <= fruit, ± straight, stout, barbed; stamens 3, anthers >= 1.5 mm; style 1, thread-like, base not enlarged; stigmas 2–3. Fruit: generally obovate, smooth, brown, mucronate; wall cells small, solid or large, hollow (under dissecting microscope).
Wetlands, often emergent.
7–15 species: temperate, subtropics. (Greek: bulb rush, for tubers) [Browning et al. 1995 Brittonia 47:433–445; Smith 2002 FNANM 23:37–44] Intermediates (putative hybrids) between species cause major problems in classification, identification.
Unabridged etymology: (Greek, bolbos, a bulb, and schoenos a rush, reed, in reference to the tubers)
Unabridged note: Fruit wall anatomy (± easily seen with a dissecting microscope in a hand-made section) including diagnostic characters that are correlated with fruit buoyancy and persistence of bristles on shed fruit. Putative interspecific hybridization causes major taxonomic confusion; putative hybrids generally occur with their parents, are intermediate between them in all characters, often bear apparently normal fruit that vary in shape within one spikelet, and form persistent clones.

Key to Bolboschoenus

B. robustus (Pursh) Soják SEACOAST BULRUSH
Plant 50–150 cm. Stem: 4–8 mm diam. Leaf: sheath tip generally papery, veiny; widest blade 4–12 mm wide. Inflorescence: proximal inflorescence bract 2–7 mm wide; spikelets (1)5–25, <= 1/2 on branches, 10–30 mm, 6–10 mm wide; flower bracts 6–9 mm, awn 2–3 mm, base ± 0.5 mm wide. Flower: perianth bristles not attached to (or some loosely attached), ± 1/2 fruit; anthers orange, stigmas 3(2). Fruit: 2.7–3.5 mm, 1.8–2.8 mm wide, ± flat-3-sided or 2-sided, floating on water; mucro 0.1–0.3 mm; wall cells large, hollow.
Local in California. Brackish to saline coastal marshes; ± 0 m. Great Central Valley (Suisun Marsh), Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast; Maine to Florida; Mexico, South America. [Scirpus robustus Pursh; Schoenoplectus robustus (Pursh) M.T. Strong] Summer [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: In North America Pacific Coastal literature Bolboschoenus (Scirpus) maritimus often has been erroneously called Scirpus robustus. For hybrids, see Bolboschoenus fluviatilis, Bolboschoenus maritimus.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Bolboschoenus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Bolboschoenus robustus 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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CCH collections by month

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