Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Rhynchospora alba (L.) Vahl
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This species differs from other species of slender Rhynchospora by its slightly
wrinkled achenes with retrorsely hairy bristles that are just barely longer than the achenes.
- Habitat: Bogs, fens.
- Habit: Tufted perennial herb with slender rootstocks.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, very slender, smooth, up to 1 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, thread-like to linear, up to 1/8 inch wide, smooth, the upper ones very
short and inconspicuous.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets arranged in dense clusters up to 3/4 inch across, whitish to
light brown; spikelets lanceolate-ovoid, sessile, 2- to 3-flowered; scales broadly lanceolate,
tapering to a point, smooth.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 1-3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, smooth.
- Fruits: Achenes obovoid, slightly wrinkled, short-stalked, shiny, up to 1/10 inch long, with an
elongate-triangular beak about half as long and half as broad as the body of the achenes;
bristles 10-14, retrorsely hairy, about as long as the achenes.
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