39. Rhynchospora torreyana A. Gray, Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York. 3: 197. 1835.
Phaeocephalum torreyanum (A. Gray) House
Plants perennial, cespitose, 50–100 cm; rhizomes absent. Culms ascending-excurved, leafy, ± terete, slender. Leaves ascending, overtopped by culm; blades narrowly linear, proximally flat, 2–3 mm wide, apex trigonous, tapering. Inflorescences: spikelet clusters (1–)2–3, widely spaced, open to dense, broadly to narrowly turbinate, branches ascending to slightly spreading, capillary; leafy bracts setaceous-tipped, overtopping all but distal clusters. Spikelets light red-brown, ovoid, 3.5–5 mm, apex acuminate; fertile scales ovate, 2.5–3.5 mm, apex acute, midrib excurrent as cusp or mucro. Flowers: perianth bristles 6, reaching at most 2/3 length of fruit body, antrorsely barbellate. Fruits 1–4(–5) per spikelet, 2 mm; body brown, strongly compressed, obovoid-ellipsoid, 1.4–1.6 × 1–1.2 mm, margins flowing to tubercle; surfaces finely transversely rugose, intervals with narrow vertical alveolae; tubercle flat, low-triangular, 0.2–0.3(–0.5) mm.
Fruiting summer–fall. Sands and peats of low meadows, savannas, flatwoods, pond shores, ditch banks; 0–200 m; Ala., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Md., Mass., N.J., N.Y., N.C., R.I., S.C., Va.