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.



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. orthophyllus Coville

Perennial 20–50 cm; rhizome scaly, hard, dark, creeping
Leaves mostly basal; sheath appendages 0 or minute; blade with flat side toward stem, << to ± = stem, 2–6 mm wide, crosswalls 0; cauline leaves 1–3, above middle
Inflorescence open; lowest bract inconspicuous; branches papillate; clusters 1–many, 6–10-flowered, hemispheric; bractlets prominent, ± 1/2 perianth
Flower: perianth segments 5–6 mm, minutely papillate, bristle-tipped, middle green, margins brown, sepals < petals; stamens 6, filaments < anthers
Fruit slightly < perianth; tip flat; beak small
Seed 0.5 mm, brown; appendages minute
Ecology: Inland wet places, especially meadows, streambanks in forest
Elevation: 1200–3500 m.
Bioregional distribution: High North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges (Santa Ana Mtns), Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Idaho, Nevada
Flowering time: Jul–Aug

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