Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Lilaea scilloides (Poir.) Haum.
- Family: Arrow-grass (Juncaginaceae)
- Flowering: March-October
- Field Marks: This very distinctive species has elongated grass-like leaves with short spikes on slender, leafless stalks much shorter than the leaves. Some female flowers are hidden in basal leaf sheaths; other flowers are found in short spikes.
- Habitat: Around lakes and ponds in mud, in slow streams.
- Habit: Annual herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: No leafy stems present, only stems up to 8 inches tall with spikes of flowers present.
- Leaves: All elongated, terete, fleshy, up to 1 foot long, up to 1/5 inch wide, smooth.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers embedded in the fleshy axis of a spike, with some female flowers only borne singly and hidden by basal leaf sheaths; spikes 1/6-1/3 inch long; all
flowers usually subtended by a bract.
- Sepals: 1, oblong.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 1.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; style of basal flowers up to 8 inches long.
- Fruits: Those hidden in the sheaths narrowly oblongoid, flattened, light brown, 1/4-1/3 inch long, often with 1 or more slender horns at the tip; those in the spikes broadly lanceoloid, green, narrowly winged.
- Notes: The flowering spike usually is borne at water level. Sometimes some of the flowers are not subtended by bracts.
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