34. Rhynchospora punctata Elliott, Sketch Bot. S. Carolina. 1: 60. 1816.
Phaeocephalum punctatum (Elliott) House
Plants perennial, cespitose, 60–80 cm; rhizomes absent. Culms erect or ascending, leafy, trigonous, slender. Leaves all exceeded by culm; basal blades spreading, often curled, distal longer, all proximally flat, 3–5 mm wide, apex trigonous, subulately tapering. Inflorescences: clusters 3–5, proximalmost distant, longest pedunculate, fascicles broadly turbinate to hemispheric; leafy bracts of distal groups mostly exceeded by inflorescence. Spikelets lance ovoid, (3.5–)4–5 mm; fertile scales broadly ovate to ± orbiculate, cupulate, rounded, 3 mm, apex apiculate to cuspidate, midrib excurrent. Flowers: perianth bristles 6, overtopping tubercle (or at least its base), antrorsely barbellate. Fruits 1–3 per spikelet, 2.3–3 mm; body brown, strongly compressed proximally, biconvex distally, broadly obovoid, 1.8–2.2 × 1.5 mm; surfaces strongly transversely rugose, intervals with rows of narrow, vertical alveolae; tubercle triangular, flat, 1 mm, base lunate, capping fruit apex, apiculate.
Fruiting spring–summer. Sands and peats of savannas, open pine-wiregrass flats, sandhills bogs ecotones; of conservation concern; 0–200 m; Fla., Ga.
Rhynchospora punctata is similar to R. harveyi and R. compressa in its preference for more upland sites. Like R. compressa, R. punctata often has many imperfectly formed fruits, suggestive of hybrid origin.