Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Raymond Cranfill, except as specified

Annual or perennial herb, often rhizomed, often of wet open places, generally monoecious; roots fibrous, hairy
Stem generally 3-sided
Leaves often 3-ranked; sheath generally closed; ligule generally 0; blade (0) various, parallel-veined
Inflorescence: spikelets variously clustered; flowers generally sessile in axil of flower bract
Flower small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or bristle-like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4-chambered; ovary superior, 1-chambered, 1-ovuled, style 2–3-branched
Fruit: achene, generally 3-sided
Genera in family: ± 110 genera, 3600 species: worldwide, especially temp
Reference: [Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445]
Difficult: taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence and fruit.



Gordon C. Tucker

Annual or perennial herb, glabrous
Stems generally > 1, erect, 2–100 cm, 3-angled or round
Leaves basal; blades 0 or linear
Inflorescence: bracts 1–9, leaf-like, spreading or erect; rays < 10 cm; spikelets flat to ± cylindric; flower bracts 2-ranked, 1 per flower, 2–36 per spikelet
Flower bisexual; perianth 0; stigmas generally 3
Fruit (ob)ovoid, generally 3-angled, brown, generally not beaked
Etymology: (Greek: name for 1 sp.)
Reference: [Tucker 1983 Syst Bot Monogr 2:1–85]
Mature fruit generally needed for identification. C. unioloides R. Br. and C. virens Michx. probably only waifs in CA.


C. laevigatus L.

Perennial 1–60 cm; rhizomes 1–2 mm thick, horizontal
Stems clumped or not, 1–30 mm apart
Leaf: blades generally 0(–7 cm)
Inflorescence: bracts 1–3, 1–10 cm; spikelets 1–14, 4–12 mm, elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, subcylindric, greenish white to reddish or dark brown, in open, ± ovoid heads; flower bracts 8–24 per spikelet, 1.5–2 mm, obovate to round, overlapped, lateral veins 0
Flower: stigmas 2
Fruit 1.2–1.8 mm, oblong-elliptic to ovate, lenticular, dark brown or black
Ecology: Alkaline or brackish, wet soils, hot springs, permanent pools in arroyos
Elevation: 30–1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Southwestern California, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, Mexico, scattered in tropical, warm temperate worldwide
Flowering time: Jul–Dec
Horticultural information: TRY; STBL.

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