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Sparganium angustifolium

Higher Taxonomy
Family: TyphaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, glabrous; monoecious; rhizomes or stolons long; colonial, in wet soil to aquatic. Stem: aerial stem 1, +- cylindric. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, 2-ranked, spongy; sheath open; ligule 0; blade +- linear. Inflorescence: spike-like or of spheric, unisexual heads; staminate flowers or heads distal to pistillate ones. Flower: small, densely-packed. Staminate Flower: filaments fused proximally. Pistillate Flower: pistil 1, ovary superior, ovules 1--2(4). Fruit: follicle, splitting in water, or drupe-like.
Genera In Family: 2 genera, +- 32 species: worldwide.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SparganiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BUR-REED
Habit: Plants generally submerged except inflorescence, or vegetative when all-submerged (emergent to +- terrestrial); rhizomes, stolons slender. Stem: unbranched proximal to inflorescence. Leaf: blade flat to convex, 3-sided, or abaxially keeled. Inflorescence: heads axillary and terminal, 2--60+; bracts leaf-like, distal reduced. Staminate Flower: stamens 2--8. Pistillate Flower: ovary chambers 1--2(4), stigmas generally 1(2--4). Fruit: drupe-like, spongy; perianth parts attached, style and generally stigmas persistent as beak; floating, water-dispersed.
Species In Genus: +- 17 species: northern temperate, western Pacific. Etymology: (Probably Greek: swaddling band, for strap-shaped leaves) Note: Fruit head diam including fruit beaks; fruit body lengths except beak, stalk-like base; beak lengths including stigmas.

Sparganium angustifolium Michx.
Habit: Plants generally aquatic, limp, <= 2.5 m, distally floating, occasionally terrestrial and erect to emergent, to +- 35 cm. Leaf: widest blades 1--5 mm wide, +- flat, or convex, or generally some obscurely 3-angled or keeled. Inflorescence: emergent; main axis branches 0; staminate heads 3--4(5), crowded in flower; pistillate heads 1--3, proximal in axils, peduncled, distal sessile, 1.5--2 cm diam in fruit. Flower: perianth parts not dark-thickened distally; stigma (0.6)0.8--1.5 mm. Fruit: body 3--4 mm, 1.5--2 mm wide, ellipsoid to fusiform, distally tapered, beak 1.5--2.2 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Ecology: Locally common. Shallow to deep, nutrient-poor water, lakes, ponds, streams, occasionally +- terrestrial; Elevation: 1800--3100 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, SNH; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, northeastern North America; circumboreal. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
Unabridged Note: As some plants are intermediate between Sparganium angustifolium and Sparganium emersum in one or more defining characters and may be hybrids, it may be preferable to combine these 2 species under Sparganium emersum s.l. The 3-angled or keeled leaf blade shapes, presumably diagnostic of Sparganium emersum, are common in California plants that are otherwise typical of Sparganium angustifolium but are very difficult to see in many pressed specimens.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith
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botanical illustration including Sparganium angustifolium


Citation for this treatment: S. Galen Smith 2017. Sparganium angustifolium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Sparganium angustifolium
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Sparganium angustifolium
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© 2009 Gary A. Monroe
Sparganium angustifolium
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© 2000 Gary A. Monroe
Sparganium angustifolium
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse
Sparganium angustifolium
click for enlargement
© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Sparganium angustifolium
click for enlargement
© 2000 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Sparganium angustifolium in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sparganium angustifolium:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.