Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Raymond Cranfill, except as specified

Annual or perennial herb, often rhizomed, often of wet open places, generally monoecious; roots fibrous, hairy
Stem generally 3-sided
Leaves often 3-ranked; sheath generally closed; ligule generally 0; blade (0) various, parallel-veined
Inflorescence: spikelets variously clustered; flowers generally sessile in axil of flower bract
Flower small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or bristle-like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4-chambered; ovary superior, 1-chambered, 1-ovuled, style 2–3-branched
Fruit: achene, generally 3-sided
Genera in family: ± 110 genera, 3600 species: worldwide, especially temp
Reference: [Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445]
Difficult: taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence and fruit.



Gordon C. Tucker

Annual or perennial herb, glabrous
Stems generally > 1, erect, 2–100 cm, 3-angled or round
Leaves basal; blades 0 or linear
Inflorescence: bracts 1–9, leaf-like, spreading or erect; rays < 10 cm; spikelets flat to ± cylindric; flower bracts 2-ranked, 1 per flower, 2–36 per spikelet
Flower bisexual; perianth 0; stigmas generally 3
Fruit (ob)ovoid, generally 3-angled, brown, generally not beaked
Etymology: (Greek: name for 1 sp.)
Reference: [Tucker 1983 Syst Bot Monogr 2:1–85]
Mature fruit generally needed for identification. C. unioloides R. Br. and C. virens Michx. probably only waifs in CA.


C. fuscus L.

Annual 2–30 cm
Inflorescence: bracts 2–3; rays 1–3, 2–15 mm (20 rays on robust plants < 5 mm); spikelets 3–15, 3–7 mm, narrowly elliptic, flat, in open, subspheric, yellowish to purplish brown heads; flower bracts 8–12(16) per spikelet, ± 1 mm, spheric, tip with small point, lateral veins 0, midveins 3
Fruit 0.7–0.9 mm, elliptic, ± sessile, smooth, light brown; base wedge-shaped; tip acute
Ecology: Damp disturbed soil, receding shorelines, puddles
Elevation: 0–50 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley
Distribution outside California: to e N.America; native to temperate Eurasia

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