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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.



Robert F. Thorne

Annual or perennial herb from rhizomes, submersed or emergent, sometimes dioecious or plants with some unisexual flowers
Stem short, erect, ± scapose
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, generally narrowly cylindric; sheath open, generally liguled
Inflorescence: spike or raceme (terminal) or flowers solitary in axils; bracts 0
Flower: perianth parts generally 6 in 2 whorls (except 0–1 in Lilaea ), free, greenish; stamens generally 1, 3, or 6, filament short, ± fused to inner perianth parts, anthers elongate, dehiscing outward; pistil 1 (simple) or seemingly so (ovaries 3, 4, or 6, fused to central axis, each with 1 chamber and 1 style), ovule 1 per chamber, style short and plumose or long and thread-like
Fruit: follicle or nutlet
Genera in family: 5 genera, ± 20 species: temp and circumboreal.



Perennial from rhizomes in CA, terrestrial or aquatic
Stem erect, short, obscure
Leaves basal, ± tufted; sheath membranous; ligule entire to 2-lobed
Inflorescence: raceme, scapose, narrowly cylindric, glabrous; pedicels short
Flower bisexual; perianth parts 3–6, generally green, inner surface concave; stamens (1)3–6, subsessile, anthers wide; ovaries 3 or 6 (if 6, 3 sometimes sterile), 1-chambered, ± fused to central axis, style short, stigma papillate
Fruit: follicles 3–6, separating from axis
Seed 1, linear, ± flat or angled
Species in genus: ± 12 species: temp and circumboreal
Etymology: (Greek: 3-pointed, from fruits of some)
TOXIC when fresh from cyanogenic compounds.


T. maritima L.


Perennial from short, thick rhizomes, generally > 3 dm
Leaf < 70 cm, 1.5–5 mm wide, flat; ligule 1–5 mm, entire to slightly notched
Inflorescences 2 or more per plant, generally > leaves; pedicels 1–3(5) mm, ascending
Flower: perianth parts 6, ± 2 mm; stamens generally 6; fertile ovaries 6
Fruits 6 per flower, 3–5(7) mm, oblong to ovoid, falling from axis
Chromosomes: 2n=12,24,30,36,48,60,96,120, 144
Ecology: Uncommon. Saline, brackish, or alkaline marshes
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, South Coast, San Bernardino Mountains, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: circumboreal
Flowering time: Apr–Aug
Horticultural information: WET or IRR, alkaline to fresh water margins and mud; SUN: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; STBL.

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