66. Rhynchospora solitaria R. M. Harper, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 28: 468. 1901.
Plants perennial, solitary or cespitose, 50–60 cm; rhizomes absent. Culms erect to ascending, narrowly linear, wandlike, terete, leafy proximal to middle. Leaves erect to ascending; blades proximally flat, 2.5–3.5 mm wide, apex tapering, tip abruptly blunt. Inflorescences terminal, cluster of spikelets crowded, broadly turbinate to hemispheric, to 1.5 cm wide; leafy bracts linear setaceous, slightly exceeding cluster. Spikelets orange brown, lance fusiform, 6–7 mm, apex acuminate; fertile scales lance ovate, 4–5 mm, apex acuminate with excurved awn to 1 mm. Flowers: bristles 3–4, some reaching tubercle tip, antrorsely barbellate. Fruits 1–2 per spikelet, 2–2.1 mm; body brown with paler center, obovoid lenticular, 1.5–1.7 × 1.2–1.3 mm, margins flowing to tubercle; surfaces finely transversely striate with minute pits; tubercle low triangular, 0.3–0.5 mm.
Fruiting summer–fall. Sandy peat of depressions in pine flatwoods savannas, edges of hillside bogs; of conservation concern; 0–200 m; Ga.
Rhynchospora solitaria appears to be the least common North American species of Rhynchospora with two of the five given localities apparently lost. The name “solitaria” is deceptive; the plants sometimes form small tufts of culms. The most distinctive feature in the field is the attractive orange brown color of the narrow, acuminate, bristle scaled spikelets.