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.



Janice Coffey Swab

Annual, perennial herb, generally from rhizomes
Stem round or flat
Leaves generally mostly basal; sheath margins fused, or overlapping and generally with 2 ear-like extensions at blade junction; blade round, flat, or vestigial, glabrous or margin hairy
Inflorescence: head-like clusters or single flowers, variously arranged; bracts subtending inflorescence 2, generally leaf-like; bracts subtending inflorescence branches 1–2, reduced; bractlets subtending flowers generally 1–2, generally translucent
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals and petals similar, persistent, green to brown or purplish black; stamens generally 3 or 6, anthers linear, persistent; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 1 or 3, placentas 1 and basal or 3 and axile or parietal, stigmas generally > style
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seeds 3–many, often with white appendages on 1 or both ends
Genera in family: 9 genera, 325 species: temp, arctic, tropical mtns. Fls late spring to early fall.



Annual, perennial herb; rhizome (if any) generally with scale-like leaves
Stem generally cylindric or flat
Leaf: blade well developed and cylindric or flat, or reduced to small point; crosswalls often present (pull fresh blade apart lengthwise to see or slide leaf between fingers to feel); appendages often present at blade-sheath junction
Inflorescence generally terminal (appearing lateral when pushed aside by lowest inflorescence bract); bractlets 0–2
Flowers: stamens generally 3 or 6 (2 in some very small annual taxa); pistil 1, ovary chambers 1 or 3, placentas axile or parietal, stigmas generally 3(2)
Seeds many
Species in genus: 225 species: worldwide, especially n hemisphere
Etymology: (Latin: to join or bind, from use of stems)
Reference: [Ertter 1986 Mem NY Bot Gard 39:1–90]


J. acutus L. subsp. leopoldii (Parl.) Snogerup

Perennial, cespitose, 50–140 cm; rhizome much-branched
Stem rigid, hardened, cylindric
Leaves basal, 40–120 cm, rigid; tip hard, sharp; sheath appendages firm
Inflorescence appearing lateral, generally ± open; lowest bract cylindric, resembling stem, < to = inflorescence; branches uneven; clusters 2–4-flowered, each subtended by 1 obvious, clasping bract; bractlets 0
Flower: perianth 2–4 mm, margins membranous, sepals thin, obtuse, petals ± rounded; anthers 6, >> filaments, reddish brown
Fruit generally ± 2 X perianth, nearly spheric, shiny brown
Seed irregular; appendages small
Chromosomes: 2n=48
Ecology: Moist saline places (salt marshes, alkaline seeps)
Elevation: generally < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, South Coast, s Channel Islands, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: to Arizona, Baja California, S.America, s Africa
Flowering time: May–Jun
Synonyms: var. sphaerocarpus Engelm., spiny rush
Horticultural information: IRR or WET: 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; also STBL; good barrier plant.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for JUNCUS%20acutus%20subsp.%20leopoldii being generated

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