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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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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.


S. Galen Smith, A.E. Schuyler, and William J. Crins

Annual or perennial herb, rhizomed or not; roots fibrous
Stem generally erect, 3-angled or cylindric, solid
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, 3-ranked; sheaths closed; ligule 0 or present; blades linear, sometimes vestigial and scale-like
Inflorescence panicle- or head-like; bracts 1–several, leaf- or ± stem-like; spikelets 1–many, generally many-flowered; flower bracts spiraled, generally ovate, scale-like
Flower bisexual; perianth bristles generally < and hidden by flower bracts, generally ± straight, generally slender, generally stiff, generally persistent on fruit, generally finely spined or fringed, sometimes 0 or vestigial; stamens generally 3; style 1, ribbon- or thread-like, stigmas 2–3, generally exserted
Fruit: achene, generally obovoid, lenticular or ± 2–3-angled, generally beaked, not tubercled
Species in genus: ± 200 species: generally wet sites, worldwide. Some species mistaken for Eleocharis
Recent taxonomic note: *CA plants treated as Amphiscirpus, Bolboschoenus, Isolepis, Schoenoplectus, Trichophorum [Browning et al. 1995 Brittonia 47:433–445; Smith 1995 Novon 5:97–102]


S. maritimus L.

Perennial 80–150 cm; rhizome long with tubers < 2 cm wide
Stems erect, ± 3–8 mm wide, sharply 3-angled; sides smooth, angles minute-scabrous
Leaves ± cauline; sheath top opposite blade with V-shaped veinless area; upper blades >> sheaths, generally 3–12 mm wide when dry, flat to V-shaped, midrib and margin fine-scabrous
Inflorescence: spikelets 4–many, 10–30 mm, 5–10 mm wide, often in 1 sessile, dense cluster or < 1/2 in clusters of 1–15 at branch tips; 2–3 bracts >> inflorescence, spreading, leaf-like, longest generally 2–5 mm wide when dry; flower bract not strongly appressed, 5–7 mm, pale grayish to orange-brown, ± translucent, scabrous, tip notch ± 0.5 mm, awn 1.5–3 mm, ± contorted
Flower: perianth bristles generally 6, generally < 1/2 fruit, generally deciduous; stigmas 2
Fruit 2.5–3.5 mm, ± compressed, ± weakly 2–3-angled, smooth, shiny, dark brown; sides convex; tip truncate, beak 0.1–0.2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=90
Ecology: Marshes
Elevation: < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Modoc Plateau, Desert
Distribution outside California: almost worldwide
Synonyms: var. paludosus (Nelson) Kük
Apparently hybridizes with S. robustus
Recent taxonomic note: *Bolboschoenus maritimus (L.) Palla
Horticultural information: STBL.

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