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 2016. Sparganium emersum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Sparganium emersum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Sparganium emersum
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© 2007 Steve Matson
Sparganium emersum
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Sparganium emersum
click for enlargement
© 2004 Steve Matson
Sparganium emersum
click for enlargement
© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Sparganium emersum
click for enlargement
© 2003 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. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.