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

3. Fimbristylis schoenoides (Retzius) Vahl, Enum. Pl. 2: 286. 1805.

Scirpus schoenoides Retzius, Observ. Bot. 5: 14. 1789; Fimbristylis inconstans Steudel

Plants annual, cespitose, 10–35(–40) cm, glabrous; rhizomes absent. Leaves polystichous, mostly spreading to ascending; sheath margins entire; ligule present, complete; blades narrowly linear, to 1 mm wide, flat to shallowly involute, margins distantly scabrid, surface glabrous. Inflorescences: spikelets 1, terminal or 2–3 in simple anthela longer than broad, laterals subsessile; scapes narrowly linear, coarsely ribbed, distally compressed; involucral bracts usually 1 per spikelet, exceeding or exceeded by it. Spikelets yellowish, mostly turgidly ovoid, 5–8 mm; fertile scales broadly ovate, 2–3 mm, apex obtuse, entire, midrib excurrent or not. Flowers: stamens 3, styles 2-fid, flattened, fimbriate. Achenes near white to pale brown, lenticular-obovoid to obpyriform, 2 mm, appearing smooth under 10–20X magnification, under higher power finely longitudinally ribbed, with fine, isodiametric pits in vertical lines. 2n = 10.

Fruiting summer–fall, all year in south. Moist sands or sandy peats of roadsides, ditches, flatwoods clearings, savanna, and particularly, disturbed low, open areas; 1–100 m; introduced; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss.; tropical Asia; Africa.

Fimbristylis schoenoides is an unusual Fimbristylis for us, with a smooth, “eleocharis-like” appearance. The plants are mostly low and spreading-culmed, glabrous annuals of Asian origin.


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