Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Brasenia schreberi

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CabombaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, aquatic, rhizomes in mud. Stem: elongate, leafy, ends floating. Leaf: of 2 kinds: submersed, palmately dissected, opposite [whorled], short-petioled, not peltate; floating, simple, alternate, petioled, peltate, entire; stipules 0. Inflorescence: flowers 1 on long axillary peduncles, generally on or above water surface. Flower: bisexual, parts +- free; sepals, petals each 3[4], alternate, persistent; stamens 3--6 or 18--36(51), filaments slender, anthers opening lengthwise; carpels [1]2--18, ovaries superior, 1-chambered, ovules [1]2--3[5]. Fruit: achene- or follicle-like, indehiscent. Seed: 1--3, aril 0.
Genera In Family: 2 genera, 6 species: temperate, tropical America, Africa, eastern Asia, Australia; some Cabomba species cultivated for aquaria. Note: Separation from Nymphaeaceae (carpels fused, fruits berry-like) confirmed by molecular data (Les et al. 1999 Syst Bot 24:28--46).
Unabridged Note: Pollinated by wind (Brasenia) or insects (Cabomba).
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Robert E. Preston.
Genus: BraseniaView Description 


Etymology: (Christoph Brasen, 1738--1774, Danish surgeon and plant collector, leader of the 1771 missionary expedition that established the Moravian mission of Nain on the coast of Labrador (Charters & Hollombe, pers. comm.))
Brasenia schreberi J.F. Gmel.
Habit: Submersed parts covered with thick mucilage. Stem: slender, 3--20 dm, branching, red-brown. Leaf: centrally peltate; blade << petiole, 3.5--12(13.5) cm, 2--8 cm wide, elliptic to ovate, +- entire. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in axils. Flower: perianth 10--20 mm, +- red-purple or purple-brown; petals +- > sepals, linear-oblong; filaments thread-like; carpels (2)4--18, stigmas linear-decurrent. Fruit: 6--8(10) mm, oblong, leathery. Seed: 1--2. Chromosomes: 2n=80.
Ecology: Ponds, slow streams; Elevation: < 2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaRH, SNH, ScV, MP (exc Wrn); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana; eastern North America, Central America, South America, Africa, eastern Asia, eastern Australia. Flowering Time: Apr--Oct
Unabridged Synonyms: Brasenia peltata Pursh; Brasenia purpurea (Michx.) Casp.; Cabomba peltata (Pursh) F. Muell.; Hydropeltis purpurea Michx.
Jepson eFlora Author: Thomas J. Rosatti
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Next taxon: Cabomba

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Botanical illustration including Brasenia schreberi

botanical illustration including Brasenia schreberi


Citation for this treatment: Thomas J. Rosatti 2012, Brasenia schreberi, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 09, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 09, 2023.

Brasenia schreberi
click for enlargement
© 2014 Aaron E. Sims and CNPS
Brasenia schreberi
click for enlargement
© 2008 Dean Kelch
Brasenia schreberi
click for enlargement
© 2014 Aaron E. Sims and CNPS
Brasenia schreberi
click for enlargement
© 2014 Aaron E. Sims and CNPS
Brasenia schreberi
click for enlargement
© 2014 Aaron E. Sims and CNPS
Brasenia schreberi
click for enlargement
© 2014 Aaron E. Sims and CNPS

More photos of Brasenia schreberi in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Brasenia schreberi:
KR, NCoR, CaRH, SNH, ScV, MP (exc Wrn)
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).