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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 23 | Cyperaceae | Rhynchospora

1. Rhynchospora tracyi Britton, Trans. New York Acad. Sci. 11: 84. 1892 (as Rynchospora).

Ceratoschoenus capitatus Chapman, Fl. South. U.S., 529. 1860; Phaeocephalum tracyi (Britton) House; Schoenus triceps Vahl

Plants perennial, clonal, to 120 cm; rhizomes scaly, slender, less than 2 mm thick. Culms erect, leafy based, wandlike, nearly terete, multiribbed. Leaves ascending or erect, longest nearly equaling culm; principal blades linear, involute cylindric, to 3 mm wide, apex tapering, subulate. Inflorescences terminal, heads 1–4, dense, macelike, 1–1.5 mm thick; involucral bracts leafy, proximalmost overtopping inflorescence. Spikelets greenish, lance ovoid, 5–6 mm, apex acuminate; fertile scales boat-shaped, 5 mm, apex acute to short acuminate, midrib slightly excurrent or not. Flowers: perianth bristles 6, exceeding fruit body, antrorsely barbellate. Fruits 1 per spikelet, 6–8(–8.7) mm; body pale green brown, laterally compressed, obcordiform, 2.5–3(–4) mm, margins thick, rounded, not crimped, apex barely exserted, setulose, surfaces nearly plane, minutely cancellate (latticed); tubercle (style base) linear, angled, 4–6 mm, much narrower than fruit summit, setulose.

Fruiting late spring–fall. Emergent in shallows of cypress domes, marshes and swales, ditches and ponds; 0–100 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex.; West Indies; Central America (Belize).

Rhynchospora tracyi frequently forms clones extending for acres by means of its long slender rhizomes. Its wandlike, terete, supple culms, and round-capitate clusters of spikelets suggest a rush more than a sedge.


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