USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

7. Fimbristylis Vahl

2. Fimbristylis puberula (Michx.) Vahl


Perennial with slender, stiff culms 2-7 dm tall, solitary or in small tufts, sometimes bulbous at the base, with short, slender to thick rhizomes. Leaves shorter than the culm; blades flat to involute, 0.5-3 mm wide; ligule a line of short hairs or incomplete to absent. Inflorescence umbellate or some branches forked, subtended by 2 or 3 foliaceous bracts, the longest of these shorter than to exceeding the inflorescence; pedicels slender, ascending to spreading; spikelets few to many, ovoid to ovoid-cylindric, 5-10 mm long; scales pale to dark brown, broadly ovate, mostly 3-3.5 mm long, broadly rounded at the apex, often with a short awn or mucro, scarious and sometimes short-ciliate on the margins, firm, shiny and often finely striate on the back, the lower scales sometimes puberulent; stamens (2)3; styles bifid, fringed with fine hairs below the branches. Achenes pale brown, lenticular, 1.2-1.8 mm long, reticulate between fine longitudinal lines on the convex faces, the straplike filaments often adherent to the achene base. Jun--Aug. Wet meadows, shores and moist to dry prairies, often where sandy; occasional in NE; (NJ to MI and NE, s to FL, TX and NM). F. castanea (Michx.) Vahl, F. caroliniana (Lam.) Fern., F. drummondii Boeckl.

Most plants of the northern plains are var. interior (Britt.) Kral, characterized as follows: Culms rarely bulbous at the base, with numerous slender, twisted, orangish rhizomes produced from the rather soft, tufted base. Longest involucral bract usually surpassing the inflorescence; spikelet scales glabrous.

From e NE we have a few collections of var. puberula: Culms bulbous at the base, arising from a thick rhizome and clothed by the firm, fibrous sheaths of old leaves. Longest involucral bract usually much shorter than the inflorescence; spikelet scales short-ciliate.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Fimbristylis autumnalis (L.) R. & S.
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Fuirena simplex Vahl

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/vascplnt/species/fpub.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:43:08 EST
Menlo Park, CA [caww54]