62. Rhynchospora wrightiana Boeckeler, Flora. 64: 78. 1881.
Rhynchospora gracillima C. Wright in F. A. Sauvalle, Fl. Cub., 181. 1871, not Thwaites 1864; R. distans (Michaux) Vahl var. gracillima Kükenthal; R. distans var. tenuis Britton
Plants perennial, cespitose, 10–50 cm; rhizomes absent. Culms slender, ± filiform, leafy, terete to bluntly trigonous. Leaves shorter than culm; blades spreading to ascending, ± filiform, proximally flat, 0.5–1(–1.5) mm, apex tapering, trigonous. Inflorescences: spikelet clusters 1–3, loose to dense, widely spaced to close together, turbinate to hemispheric; leafy bracts setaceous, mostly exceeding spikelet clusters. Spikelets dark red brown, lance ovoid, 2.5–3.5(–4) mm, apex acute; fertile scales ovate, 2–3.5 mm, apex acute or acuminate, rarely minutely awned. Flowers: bristles 6, of various length, mostly extending from fruit midbody to tubercle base, antrorsely barbellate. Fruits 1–2 per spikelet, (2–)2–2.5 mm; body brown with pale center, lenticular, broadly ellipsoid, 1.5–1.7 × 1.2–1.3 mm, surfaces nearly smooth or very finely cancellate; tubercle flat, triangular with short-oblong, blunt tipped nose, or triangular subulate, 0.5–0.8 mm.
Fruiting late spring–fall or all year (south). Sands and peats in flatwoods, pine savannas, pond and stream banks, bogs, and seeps; 0–200 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., Miss., N.C., S.C., Va.; West Indies; Central America.
The morphologic boundary between Rhynchospora wrightiana and R. fascicularis (particularly morphs of R. fascicularis referred to R. fascicularis var. distans) is difficult, as recent annotations of the material testify. It is best to consider R. wrightiana as a lower, distinctly filiform leaved entity with darker brown, shorter spikelets and shorter fruit. Kükenthal’s concept of R. wrightiana appears to include a considerable amount of R. fascicularis var. distans.