A genus of about 10-16 species, herbs, cosmopolitan. Muasya et al. (2009) indicate that Bolboschoenus is in a clade with Fimbristylis, Abildgaardia, Bulbostylis, Fuirena, Eleocharis, and other genera not in our flora, and therefore not closely related to (or congeneric with) Schoenoplectus or Scirpus.
ID notes:Our species of Bolboschoenus are robust plants with leafy stems that inhabit freshwater and brackish marshes, especially but not strictly in tidal waters. The inflorescence is composed of a few to many spikes in a compact or semi-open (B. robustus) or open (B. novae-angliae) array, appearing terminal on the stem and subtended with several to many leaf-like bracts (similar to Scirpus in this regard, but not to Schoenoplectus, which has the inflorescence appearing lateral (subtended by usually a single, erect bract that imitates a continuation of the stem). Compared to Scirpus, Bolboschoenus has fewer and larger spikelets (see Cyperaceae key). The individual spikes are ovoid to cylindrical in shape and brown in color, and larger than those of Scirpus (10-40 mm long, 6-12 mm in diameter, as opposed to 2.5-19 mm long, 2-4 mm in diameter in Scirpus). The genus Bolboschoenus was often formerly placed within a very broad concept of Scirpus or a broad concept of Schoenoplectus.
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