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.


S. Galen Smith, A.E. Schuyler, and William J. Crins

Annual or perennial herb, rhizomed or not; roots fibrous
Stem generally erect, 3-angled or cylindric, solid
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, 3-ranked; sheaths closed; ligule 0 or present; blades linear, sometimes vestigial and scale-like
Inflorescence panicle- or head-like; bracts 1–several, leaf- or ± stem-like; spikelets 1–many, generally many-flowered; flower bracts spiraled, generally ovate, scale-like
Flower bisexual; perianth bristles generally < and hidden by flower bracts, generally ± straight, generally slender, generally stiff, generally persistent on fruit, generally finely spined or fringed, sometimes 0 or vestigial; stamens generally 3; style 1, ribbon- or thread-like, stigmas 2–3, generally exserted
Fruit: achene, generally obovoid, lenticular or ± 2–3-angled, generally beaked, not tubercled
Species in genus: ± 200 species: generally wet sites, worldwide. Some species mistaken for Eleocharis
Recent taxonomic note: *CA plants treated as Amphiscirpus, Bolboschoenus, Isolepis, Schoenoplectus, Trichophorum [Browning et al. 1995 Brittonia 47:433–445; Smith 1995 Novon 5:97–102]


S. californicus (C.A. Mey.) Steud.

Perennial 200–400 cm; rhizome long
Stems erect, < 10 mm wide in middle, 3-angled throughout or cylindric below
Leaves ± basal; sheaths < 1/6 stem; blades 0 or 1–2, < sheaths, flat, glabrous
Inflorescence panicle-like; spikelets 20–many, clustered at branch tips, 5–11 mm, ± 3 mm wide; branches flexible, arched; main bract 3–8 cm, erect, stiff, ± stem-like (at least above); flower bract 2.5–3 mm, glabrous, orange-brown, midrib thick, margin woolly, tip notch short, awn < 0.5 mm, generally bent
Flower: perianth bristles 2–4, ± = fruit, flat, thick, fringed; stigmas 2
Fruit ± 2 mm, 2-angled, smooth, dark brown; beak ± 0.2 mm
Ecology: Marshes
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, e Desert (Colorado River)
Distribution outside California: to s US, S.America, oceanic islands
Flowering time: Jun–Sep
Recent taxonomic note: *Schoenoplectus californicus (C.A. Mey.) Soják
Horticultural information: STBL.

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