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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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Perennial from long rhizomes, colonial, glabrous, generally aquatic (submersed to emergent), monoecious
Stem erect and stiff or submersed and floating above, cylindric, solid
Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, ± 2-ranked, spongy or stiff; sheath open; blade linear, flat, keeled, or triangular in X -section, spongy
Inflorescence spike-like (cylindric, dense) or head-like (spheric), terminal or axillary; staminate above pistillate, generally on same axis; flowers subtended by 1, minute bract
Staminate flower: perianth parts 0 or 1–6 and scale-like; stamens 1–8
Pistillate flower: perianth parts 0 or 1–6 and flattened; ovary 1, chambers 1–2(3), ovules 1–2(3)
Fruit: achene; wall thin, splitting in water
Genera in family: 2 genera, ± 25 species: worldwide. Sparganium formerly treated in Sparganiaceae. Family description and key to genera by R.F. Thorne.



S. Galen Smith

Perennial from tough rhizomes, emergent or terrestrial, colonial, glabrous, monoecious
Stems erect, simple, hard
Leaf: sheath open; blade linear, C-shaped in X -section below, flat above
Inflorescence spike-like, terminal, cylindric; staminate flowers above, pistillate flowers below; flowers 1000+, staminate mixed with many papery scales; pistillate pedicels clustered on short, peg-like stalk
Staminate flower: perianth 0; stamens 2–7 on slender stalk; filaments slender, generally deciduous in fruit
Pistillate flowers fertile and sterile; perianth 0; pedicel slender, long-hairy; ovary 1-chambered, ovule 1, style long, thread-like, stigma 1; sterile ovary truncate to rounded
Fruit minute, fusiform, falling with pedicel and hairs; wall thin, splitting in water
Species in genus: ± 8–13 species: worldwide. Rhizomes, pollen of some species used for food; leaves used for caning
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Smith 1987 Arch Hydrobiol Beih 27:129–138]
All North America species hybridize.


T. latifolia L.


Plants 15–30 dm
Leaf: sheath tapered to blade or shouldered; blade 10–29 mm wide when fresh, (5)10–20 mm wide when dry, glands 0
Inflorescence ± = leaves; naked axis between staminate and pistillate flowers 0 (sometimes 4–8 cm); staminate bractlets simple, hair-like, whitish; pistillate stalk 1.5–3 mm, hair-like, spike 5–25 cm, 28–36 mm wide in fruit, green when fresh, brown in fruit, bractlets 0
Staminate flower: pollen grains in groups of 4
Pistillate flower: stigma widely lanceolate; sterile ovary rounded, << pedicel hairs, hair tips whitish
Chromosomes: n=15
Ecology: Common. Marshes, ponds, lakes
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: temperate N.America, C.America, Eurasia, Africa
Flowering time: Jun–Jul

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