Sparganium (angustifolium) Herbaceous Alliance
Mats of bur-reed leaves

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormHerb
  • Elevation0-3700 m
  • State RarityS3?
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionCAN: BC?. USA: CA, CO, ID, OR, WA, WY (NatureServe)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added1995/11/01

Characteristic Species

Sparganium angustifolium or another Sparganium species is dominant on the water surface with Brasenia schreberi, Callitriche spp., Carex utriculata, Carex vesicaria, Nuphar lutea, Potamogeton spp., Stuckenia spp., Typha spp. and Utricularia macrorhiza.

Vegetation Layers

Herbs <1 m; cover is open to continuous.

Membership Rules

  • Sparganium angustifolium > 50% relative cover on the water surface (Keeler-Wolf et al. 2003b).


Ponds with shallow water or near the shoreline of deeper ponds or lakes with gravelly or muddy bottoms. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Sparganium angustifolium as an OBL plant.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Bur-reed series
NVCS (2009) Sparganium angustifolium permanently flooded herbaceous alliance
Calveg Tule-Cattail, Water
Holland Montane freshwater marsh
Munz Freshwater marsh
WHR Fresh emergent wetland
CDFW CA Code 52.010.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Hydromorphic Vegetation (Aquatic Vegetation)
Formation Subclass Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Formation Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Division North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Macro Group Western North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Group Temperate Pacific freshwater aquatic bed