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.



Annual or perennial herb
Stem generally round, ridged and grooved, generally solid
Leaves basal, 1(–4); base sheathing; blade generally 0
Inflorescence: spikelet solitary, terminal, erect; spikelet bract 0; flower bracts generally spiraled
Flowers bisexual; perianth bristles 0–6, persistent, barbs generally recurved; stamens (1–)3; style 2–3-branched, base bulb-like, persistent
Fruit 2–3-sided or round; top tubercled
Species in genus: ± 250 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: marsh grace)
St shape best seen in fresh material (or just below spikelet); drying exaggerates ridges and grooves.


E. rostellata (Torr.) Torr.

Perennial 2–15 dm, rhizomed
Stem spongy, flattened in pressing; tip often arched, rooting to form new plant
Leaf rigid, straw-colored to greenish; tip truncate to oblique
Inflorescence: spikelet 8–20 mm, wider than stem, ovate, generally 10–many-flowered; flower bracts light brown, often purple-spotted, lowest rounded, upper acute
Flower: style 3-branched
Fruit: perianth bristles ± = fruit; body 2–3 mm, obovate, weakly 2–3-sided, olive, shiny, weakly netted; tubercle deltate, not flat, base not narrowed
Ecology: Alkaline marshes, sinks, springs
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, Southwestern California, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Caribbean, Mexico, also w S.America
Flowering time: May–Aug
Indicator of saline, calcareous soils
Horticultural information: TRY; GRCVR; also STBL.

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