Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Sparganium emersum

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 emersum Rehmann
Habit: Plants generally terrestrial to emergent, erect, to 75 cm, or aquatic and limp, to 1(2) m, distal parts floating. Leaf: widest blades 5--13 mm wide, generally 3-angled or keeled proximally; on vegetative plants in deep or fast-flowing water to 2.2 m, 18 mm wide, flat, generally not keeled. Inflorescence: emergent; main axis branches 0; staminate heads 3--7, well separated to crowded in flower; pistillate heads 1--6, proximal in axils, peduncled, distal sessile, 1.3--2.5 cm diam in fruit. Flower: perianth parts not dark-thickened distally; stigma 1--2(2.5) mm. Fruit: body 3.5--4 mm, 2--2.5 mm wide, ellipsoid to fusiform, tapered distally, beak 3--4 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=30.
Ecology: +- Unpolluted freshwater habitats; Elevation: < 2600 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRO, n&c SNH, SnBr, MP; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, northeastern North America; circumboreal. Flowering Time: Summer Note: Locally common. Plants near coast generally robust, stiff, erect, in wet ground or shallow water; higher elevation inland plants generally slender, limp, +- submerged. Apparently intergrades with Sparganium angustifolium.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith
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Next taxon: Sparganium eurycarpum

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botanical illustration including Sparganium emersum


Citation for this treatment: S. Galen Smith 2017. Sparganium emersum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 24, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 24, 2017.

Sparganium emersum
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© 2003 Steve Matson
Sparganium emersum
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© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Sparganium emersum
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Sparganium emersum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Sparganium emersum
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© 2007 Steve Matson
Sparganium emersum
click for enlargement
© 2007 Steve Matson

More photos of Sparganium emersum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sparganium emersum:
NCo, KR, NCoRO, n&c SNH, SnBr, MP;
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.