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

Lilaea scilloides (Poir.) Hauman
flowering quillwort (awl-leaf lilaea)
Juncaginaceae (Arrow-grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Daniel Stewart  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71230)

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Distribution of Lilaea scilloides
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Species Information

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Aquatic annual herb from fibrous roots; stems 3-20 cm tall.
All basal, tufted, linear, 5-35 cm long, 1-4 mm thick, the tips abruptly to gradually pointed; sheaths 3-10 cm long, translucent.
Inflorescence of 3 types either male/female flowers on spikes, male flowers mainly on top of spikes; or female mainly at base of spikes and solitary in submersed leaf axils; female/male flowers with 1 perianth part, 2-3 mm long, 1 stamen and 1 ovary; male flowers with 1 perianth part, 2-3 mm long, 1 stamen; female flowers lacking a perianth part and with 1 ovary; styles short or lacking in spike flowers or 5-25 cm long and threadlike in axillary flowers.
Nutlets, 2-5 mm long, with 25 to 30 ribs and several wings, the axillary, basal ones beaked at the tips.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Mud flats, ponds and marshes in the lowland zone; rare in coastal BC; E to S SK and S to MT, NV, CA and MX; S America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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

Lilaea subulata Bonpl.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References