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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.



Annual or perennial herb
Stem generally round, ridged and grooved, generally solid
Leaves basal, 1(–4); base sheathing; blade generally 0
Inflorescence: spikelet solitary, terminal, erect; spikelet bract 0; flower bracts generally spiraled
Flowers bisexual; perianth bristles 0–6, persistent, barbs generally recurved; stamens (1–)3; style 2–3-branched, base bulb-like, persistent
Fruit 2–3-sided or round; top tubercled
Species in genus: ± 250 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: marsh grace)
St shape best seen in fresh material (or just below spikelet); drying exaggerates ridges and grooves.


E. obtusa (Willd.) Schult.

Annual < 5 dm
Stem spongy, flattened in pressing
Leaf purplish below, becoming straw-colored above; tip oblique, entire
Inflorescence: spikelet 2–16 mm, often wider than stem, oblong to ± round, tip obtuse, generally 10–many-flowered; flower bract ovate, brownish, tip obtuse to acute
Flower: style 2-branched
Fruit: perianth bristles < to > fruit; body ± 1–1.5 mm, ± obovoid, 2-sided, (pale) brown, shiny; tubercle flat, base not narrowed
Chromosomes: 2n=10
Ecology: Wet soil of pond and lake margins, marshes, often yellow-pine forests
Elevation: < 2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho, e N.America
Also e North America, with other vars.


var. engelmannii (Steud.) Gilly

Inflorescence: spikelet 5–16 mm, oblong to ovate
Fruit: perianth bristles < to = fruit; tubercle < 1/4 fruit body
Ecology: Habitats of sp.
Bioregional distribution: s Northwestern California (Marin, Lake cos.), Sierra Nevada, n Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to Washington, e N.America

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bioregional map for ELEOCHARIS%20obtusa%20var.%20engelmannii being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Eleocharis obtusa var. engelmannii
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