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Zostera marina

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ZosteraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: EEL-GRASS FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb (annual), submersed marine aquatic, rhizomed, glabrous; monoecious or dioecious. Stem: flat, leafy, creeping or short with wide, thick base. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked or tufted, < 2 m; sheath open or closed; blade linear, ribbon-like, tip entire to notched; stipules 0. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal spike, of limited distribution on pl, +- flat, enclosed by membranous, leaf-like bract in flower, also in fruit or not; flowers many, 2-rowed on 1 side of axis, each embedded in axis, enclosed by translucent, scale-like bract or not; peduncle not elongating. Staminate Flower: perianth 0; stamen 1, anther generally sessile, 2-chambered; pollen thread-like, < 2 mm. Pistillate Flower: perianth 0; ovary 1, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 1, stigmas 2. Fruit: +- achene.
Genera In Family: 3 genera, +- 18 species: seacoasts, worldwide; some species, especially Zostera marina, source of food for marine animals, some aboriginal humans.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert F. Thorne, Robert R. Haynes, C. Barre Hellquist & Gordon Leppig
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ZosteraView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: EEL-GRASS
Stem: < 3 m. Leaf: 0.5--1.5(2) m, (0.5)1--18.5 mm wide. Inflorescence: enclosed by subtending, membranous, sheath-like leaf base; staminate, pistillate flowers alternate. Pistillate Flower: ovary tapered to short style.
Species In Genus: 12 species: marine waters worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: from ribbon-like leaves) Note: Important food source for marine animals, some aboriginal humans; Zostera asiatica Miki reported for California (Coyer et al., Dean et al.), possibly naturalized, but may not be distinct from Zostera marina.

Zostera marina L.
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb; roots 5--20 per node. Leaf: sheath closed, without membranous flaps; blade to 150(200) cm, 1.5--12(16) mm wide, tip generally obtuse. Inflorescence: staminate flowers not subtended by bract (or lowermost subtended by 1 bract). Chromosomes: n=6.
Ecology: Common. Shallow water, bays, estuaries; Elevation: rooted generally 1--4 m below mean low tide. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo, SCo, ChI; Distribution Outside California: northern hemisphere. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun Note: Rhizomes, leaf bases edible.
Synonyms: Zostera marina var. latifolia Morong
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert F. Thorne, Robert R. Haynes, C. Barre Hellquist & Gordon Leppig
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Previous taxon: Zostera japonica
Next taxon: Zostera pacifica

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botanical illustration including Zostera marina

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Citation for this treatment: Robert F. Thorne, Robert R. Haynes, C. Barre Hellquist & Gordon Leppig 2016. Zostera marina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=48950, accessed on May 05, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 05, 2016.


Geographic subdivisions for Zostera marina:
NCo, CCo, SCo, ChI;
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.
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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.