Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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.



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. saximontanus Fernald

Annual 5–30 cm
Stems erect to arched, tufted, generally < 1 mm wide, subcylindric, ridged when dry
Leaves: cauline on lower 1/2 stem; sheaths prominent; lower blades << sheaths, upper > sheaths, flat, thick, glabrous
Inflorescence ± head-like, sometimes short-branched; spikelets 3–12, 8–15 mm, 2.5–3 mm wide; main bract 3–12 cm, erect, stiff, ± stem-like; flower bract ± 3 mm, glabrous, midrib green, thick, sides pale orange, translucent, margins minutely ciliate, tip acute, abruptly short-pointed to -awned
Flower: perianth bristles 0; stigmas 3
Fruit ± 1.5 mm, sharply 3-angled, with many sharp, transverse ridges
Ecology: Pond, lake margins
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, Western Transverse Ranges
Distribution outside California: to c US, Mexico
Recent taxonomic note: *Schoenoplectus saximontanus (Fernald) J. Raynal

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