Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Rhynchospora capitellata (Michx.) Vahl
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: July-October
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this beakrush are the more than 1-flowered
spikelet, the downwardly barbed bristles that subtend the achene, and the very narrow,
non-conspicuous margins of the achenes.
- Habitat: Wet ground, bogs, fens.
- Habit: Tufted perennial herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, branched or unbranched, smooth, slender, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, smooth, up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with several spikelets clustered in a cyme, the cyme up to
2 feet long.
- Spikelets: 2- to 5-flowered, up to 1/4 inch long, brown; scales lanceolate, pointed at the tip,
falling away early.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; style 2-parted.
- Fruits: Achenes obovoid, dark brown, about 1/24 inch long, with a triangular, long-pointed
tubercle up to 1/24 inch long, subtended by 5-6 downwardly barbed bristles.
- Notes: Waterfowl eat the achenes.
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