E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Ruppia maritima L.
beaked ditch-grass (widgeongrass)
Ruppiaceae (Ditch-grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7513)

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Distribution of Ruppia maritima
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial, aquatic herb from fibrous roots, rooting at the nodes; stems 30-50 cm long.
Leaves:
Stem leaves threadlike, alternate, 6-12 cm long, 0.2-0.5 mm wide, the tips more or less rounded; stipules membranous, 0.5-2 (7) cm long, fused with the leaves.
Flowers:
Inflorescence on spirally coiled, axillary stalks, the coils 0-3 (4) or lacking, the stalks 3-10 cm long; petals lacking; stamens 2.
Fruits:
Nut-like, egg-shaped, 1.8-2 mm long; beaks terminal, slightly recurved, 0.6-1 mm long.
Notes:
This is a highly variable species, especially with respect to fruit characteristics. Treatments range from the recognition of only one variable species (including R. occidentalis, e.g., Hitchcock and Cronquist 1973, Dandy 1980) to the recognition of eight or nine varieties (e.g., Scoggan 1978, Brayshaw 1985).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Green
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Tidal marshes and brackish ponds, lakes and ditches in the lowland zone; common along the coast; circumpolar, N to AK, disjunctly E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, FL, TX, ID and CA; Eurasia, S America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Ruppia maritima

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 0 128 770
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 6 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
E
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
7
Modal BEC Zone Class
CDF
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(4), CWH(2), SBS(1)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Ruppia maritima var. brevirostris J. Agardh
Ruppia maritima var. exigua Fernald & Wiegand
Ruppia maritima var. intermedia (Thed.) Asch. & Graebn.
Ruppia maritima var. longipes Hagstr.
Ruppia maritima var. maritima
Ruppia maritima var. obliqua (Schur) Asch. & Graebn.
Ruppia maritima var. pacifica H. St. John & Fosberg
Ruppia maritima var. rostrata J. Agardh
Ruppia maritima var. subcapitata Fernald & Wiegand
Ruppia pectinata Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References