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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

JUNCAGINACEAE

ARROW-GRASS FAMILY

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.

TRIGLOCHIN

ARROW-GRASS

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.

Native

T. striata Ruiz & Pav.

THREE-RIBBED ARROW-GRASS

Perennial from slender, spreading to ascending rhizomes, 1–2(4.5) dm
Leaf 5–20(45) cm, 1–2 mm wide, flat; ligule 1–2.5 mm, generally entire, tip rounded to acuminate
Inflorescences generally 1–2 per plant, 5–15(32) cm; pedicels 1–1.5(3.5) mm in fruit, generally ascending
Flower: perianth parts 3–5, greenish yellow; stamens 1–2(3), often unequal; ovaries 6, sterile 3 alternate with fertile 3, wing-like and persistent in fruit
Fruits 3 per flower, subspheric, 3-angled, falling from axis
Ecology: Uncommon. Saline or brackish marshes
Elevation: < 10 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast
Distribution outside California: to Washington, e US; also Chile, Australasia
Horticultural information: TRY.

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