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.



Perennial; rhizome often short, vertical
Stem round
Leaves mostly basal, reduced upward; sheath closed; margin and sheath opening generally with long, soft hairs; blades flat or channeled, veins indistinct, tips often thick
Inflorescence: head-like clusters or panicles of separate flowers; bractlets 1–3, margins often hairy
Flower: stamens 6; pistil 1, chamber 1, placenta basal
Seeds 3, plump, elliptic, often with a distinct ridge, sometimes attached to placenta by tuft of hairs
Species in genus: 80 species: worldwide, especially n hemisphere
Etymology: (Latin: light; Italian: glowworm)
When present, fleshy seed appendage (outer seed coat) adapts large seeds to ant dispersal.


L. orestera Sharsm.

Plant densely cespitose, stiffly erect, 3–26 cm
Stem reddish brown
Leaves many, overlapping; blade 2.5–7 cm, 2–5 mm wide, firm, mostly glabrous, tip thickened, reddish
Inflorescence: 1–5 clusters, appearing as single pyramidal inflorescence, 5–10 mm wide, sometimes with 1–2 smaller clusters on short peduncles; lowest bract < to > inflorescence, generally stiff, reddish; bractlets clear
Flower: perianth segments 2–3 mm (sepals slightly > petals), very dark, margins clear; filaments generally = anthers
Fruit << perianth, dark brown to black in upper portion
Seed 0.8 mm, oval; appendage ± 0.2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=20,22
Ecology: Alpine and subalpine meadows, fell-fields
Elevation: 2700–3600 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada
Horticultural information: IRR: 1 &SHD: 2, 3, 7, 15, 16, 18; DFCLT.

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