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Vascular Plants of California
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Trichophorum pumilum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CyperaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; monoecious, dioecious, or flowers bisexual. Stem: generally 3-sided, generally solid. Leaf: generally 3-ranked; base sheathing, sheath generally closed, ligule generally 0; blade (0 or) linear, parallel-veined. Inflorescence: spikelets generally arranged in head-, spike-, raceme-, or panicle-like inflorescences; flower generally sessile in axil of flower bract, enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) or generally not. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or generally bristle like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4 chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 2--3(4)-branched. Fruit: achene, 2--3 sided.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. Note: Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be individual pistillate flowers in fact are highly reduced inflorescences (whether or not the same applies to staminate flowers is still under debate). In some other works (e.g., FNANM) these are called spikelets, and they are treated as being arranged in spikes. Here and in TJM (1993), what appear to be individual pistillate flowers are called pistillate flowers in Carex (and they are treated as being arranged in spikelets), but spikelets in Kobresia (and they are treated as being arranged into spikes). Though internally inconsistent, the approach here is consistent with traditional usage, and reflects a preference for character states that may be determined in the field. Molecular, morphological, and embryological evidence indicates that Eriophorum crinigerum is to be segregated to a new genus, as Calliscirpus criniger (A. Gray) C.N. Gilmour et al., along with a second, newly described species, Calliscirpus brachythrix C.N. Gilmour et al. (Gilmour et al. 2013); key to genera modified by Peter W. Ball to include Calliscirpus.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith, except as noted
Scientific Editor: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TrichophorumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, cespitose, < 15 cm, smooth. Stem: simple, < 1 mm diam, cylindric, grooved, not hollow. Leaf: basal or subbasal, spiraled; blade <= 1 mm wide; sheath brown; ligule present. Inflorescence: terminal, spikelet 1; inflorescence bract 1, like flower bracts, with leaf-like blade or not; spikelets 1, 3--4.6 mm, 1.5--2.8 mm wide, ovate, not +- flat, 2--6-flowered; flower bracts spiraled, each with 1 flower in axil, ovate, brown, membranous, tip entire. Flower: bisexual; perianth of 0--6 bristles, < fruit; stamens 3, anthers 0.8--1.5 mm. Fruit: obovate to elliptic, smooth, minute-mucronate or not; tubercle 0.
Species In Genus: 9 species: circumpolar or circumboreal. Etymology: (Greek, tricho-, hair, and phorum, carrier or stalk) Note: May be mistaken for Eleocharis.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith
Reference: Crins 2002 FNANM 23:28--31
Trichophorum pumilum (Vahl) Schinz & Thell.
Habit: Forming mats. Leaf: blade 2--13 mm. Flower: perianth 0. Fruit: 2--3-sided.
Ecology: Wet sites, limestone soils; Elevation: 3100--3250 m. Bioregional Distribution: c SNH, W&I; Distribution Outside California: Alaska to Montana, also Quebec, Europe, central Asia. Flowering Time: Summer
Synonyms: Scirpus pumilus Vahl; Baeothryon pumilum (Vahl) Á. Löve & D. Löve; Scirpus alpinus Schleich. ex Gaudin; Scirpus emergens (Norman) Fernald; Scirpus pumilus subsp. rollandii (Fernald) Raymond; Scirpus pumilus var. rollandii (Fernald) Beetle; Scirpus rollandii Fernald; Trichophorum emergens Norman; Trichophorum pumilum var. rollandii (Fernald) Hultén
Jepson eFlora Author: S. Galen Smith
Reference: Crins 2002 FNANM 23:28--31
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Citation for this treatment: S. Galen Smith 2012, Trichophorum pumilum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 26, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 26, 2019.

Trichophorum pumilum
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© 2017 Neal Kramer
Trichophorum pumilum
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© 2012 Dylan Neubauer
Trichophorum pumilum
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Trichophorum pumilum
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© 2017 Neal Kramer
Trichophorum pumilum
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© 2015 Steve Matson
Trichophorum pumilum
click for enlargement
© 2017 Neal Kramer

More photos of Trichophorum pumilum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Trichophorum pumilum:
c SNH, W&I
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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.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.