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

Zostera japonica Aschers. & Graebn.
Japanese eel-grass
Zosteraceae (Eel-grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Michael Hawkes  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14784)

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Distribution of Zostera japonica
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Species Information

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Perennial, aquatic herb from slender rhizomes; stems annual, branching, 100-300 cm long, arising from the rhizome nodes.
Sheaths split to the base; stem leaves alternate, 1-1.5 mm wide, 3-veined.
Inflorescence a spike of unstalked male and female flowers alternating in 2 rows, 3-6 (8) cm long; female flowers with ovaries tapering to short styles; male flowers with unstalked anthers.
Nutlets, egg-shaped, the walls translucent, about 2 mm long, smooth, the tips about 3/4 as long as the fruit base.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Tidal mudfats; rare in SW BC, known only from Boundary Bay and Tsawwassen; introduced from E Asia.

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

Zostera americana Den Hartog

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Green, Edmund P. and Frederick T. Short. 2003. World Atlas of Seagrasses. University of California Press, San Francisco.

General References