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

45a. Rhynchospora globularis (Chapman) Small var. globularis

Rhynchospora globularis var. obliterata (Gale) Kükenthal; R. obliterata Gale

Plants mostly 30–50 cm. Spikelets dark brown, nearly globose to ovoid, mostly 2 mm. Flowers: perianth bristles rarely extending past fruit midbody. Fruit body distinctly transversely wavy rugose, intervals of fine or coarse, vertically rectangular alveolae; tubercle low-conic, distinctly narrower than rounded summit of fruit body.

Fruiting spring–early fall. Sands and peats of low meadows, stream banks, natural and artificial low clearings, moist clearcut areas, and savannas; 0–300 m; Ala., Ark., Calif., Fla., Ga., Ind., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.; West Indies (Antilles); Central America.

Rhynchospora globularis var. globularis is the most common of the three varieties sharing habitat, particularly disturbed ones, over much of its range with the similarly ubiquitous R. recognita. The differences between the two, once considered co-variants, are striking. Rhynschospora globularis var. globularis shows slender, mostly radiately spreading ascending, lax, comparatively short leaved culms; its sparser, less leafy bracteate clusters have smaller, rounder, darker spikelets. Associated R. recognita is obviously taller, stouter, stiffer, and longer-leaved; its dense spikelet clusters are bristly with exserted-tipped subulate bracts; its spikelets are longer in narrower outline; and it is distinctively red-brown, almost orange brown.


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