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

8. Scleria minor (Britton) W. Stone, Pl. S. New Jersey. 283. 1912.

Scleria triglomerata Michaux var. minor Britton in N. L. Britton and A. Brown, Ill. Fl. N. U.S. 1: 282. 1896

Plants perennial; rhizomes clustered, nodulose, rather slender, to 3 mm thick, hard. Culms in tufts, usually filiform, very slender, 35–80 cm, base 1–2 mm thick, glabrous or nearly so, somewhat scabrous toward apex. Leaves: sheaths purple tinged, scarcely winged, glabrous or minutely pilose; contra-ligules ovate, quite short, rigid; blades attenuate, keeled, shorter than culms, 1–2.5 mm wide, usually glabrous or nearly so. Inflorescences axillary and terminal, fasciculate; fascicles (1–)2(–3), 10–18 × 4–8 mm, each with 1–5 spikelets, the lateral on long filiform peduncles; bracts subtending inflorescence leaflike, lanceolate, 3–9 cm, long acuminate-attenuate, usually glabrous. Spikelets bisexual and staminate, brown, 3–6 mm; staminate scales lanceolate-acuminate, pistillate scales ovate, midrib excurrent, awnlike. Achenes brownish gray or with dark longitudinal bands, ovoid, 1.5–2 mm, smooth, shining, apex distinctly umbonate; hypogynium somewhat reduced, obscurely 3-angled, low, covered with whitish siliceous, papillose-spiculose crust.

Fruiting summer. Wet sandy or peaty soils in pinelands and savannas or boggy areas; 0–800 m; Ala., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., La., Md., Miss., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.

Scleria minor is mostly confined to the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains; inland at higher elevations it is very uncommon and usually found in bogs. Some authors subsume the species under a broadly conceived S. triglomerata (R. K. Godfrey and J. W. Wooten 1979; J. W. Kessler 1987).


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