Page author: Don Knoke
Isolepis cernua
low clubrush, low lateral clubrush

Distribution: Coastal from Southern British Columbia south to northern Mexico.

Habitat: Usually in brackish to saline water of marshes, beaches, and shores.

Flowers: June - August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Tufted annual with numerous slender stems 3-20 cm. tall.


Leaves few, near the base, variable, sometimes with normal sheath and elongate, slender blade, sometimes the lower leaves reduced to bracts and the upper one with a sheath and very short blade.


Inflorescence a solitary spikelet 2-5.5 mm. long with several perfect flowers, sub-terminal, at an angle to the culm, with a single involucral bract up to 1 cm. long; flowers subtended by scales 1.5-2 mm. long, often purplish, with parallel nerves, the mid-rib greenish or pale; perianth bristles none; stamens 3; style trifid.


Achenes triangular, about 1 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Isolepis cernua (Vahl) Roem. & Schult.
Publication: Syst. Veg. 2: 106. 1817. 1817.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Scirpus cernuus Vahl [HC]
Scirpus cernuus Vahl ssp. californicus (Torr.) Thorne
Scirpus cernuus Vahl var. californicus (Torr.) Beetle
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Isolepis cernua in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Isolepis cernua checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Isolepis cernua information.

E-Flora BC: Isolepis cernua atlas page.

CalPhotos: Isolepis cernua photos.

USDA Plants: Isolepis cernua information.

13 photographs:
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