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

CYPERACEAE

SEDGE FAMILY

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.

ELEOCHARIS

SPIKERUSH

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.

Native

E. rostellata (Torr.) Torr.

Perennial 2–15 dm, rhizomed
Stem spongy, flattened in pressing; tip often arched, rooting to form new plant
Leaf rigid, straw-colored to greenish; tip truncate to oblique
Inflorescence: spikelet 8–20 mm, wider than stem, ovate, generally 10–many-flowered; flower bracts light brown, often purple-spotted, lowest rounded, upper acute
Flower: style 3-branched
Fruit: perianth bristles ± = fruit; body 2–3 mm, obovate, weakly 2–3-sided, olive, shiny, weakly netted; tubercle deltate, not flat, base not narrowed
Ecology: Alkaline marshes, sinks, springs
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, Southwestern California, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Caribbean, Mexico, also w S.America
Flowering time: May–Aug
Indicator of saline, calcareous soils
Horticultural information: TRY; GRCVR; also STBL.

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