Rhynchospora chalarocephala

Fernald & Gale

Rhodora 42: 426, figs. 1, 2. 1940.

Treatment appears in FNA Volume 23. Treatment on page 212. Mentioned on page 202.
Please click on the illustration for a higher resolution version.


Plants perennial, cespitose, 30–100 cm; rhizomes absent. Culms erect to ascending-arching, slender, nearly terete, multiribbed. Principal leaves exceeded by culm; blades flat, linear, 1–2 mm wide, apex tapering, trigonous. Inflorescences: spikelet clusters 3–7, widely spaced, clusters loosely turbinate to hemispheric, to 1.3 cm wide. Spikelets brown to pale red-brown, lance-fusiform, 3–5.5 mm; fertile scales elliptic, 2.5–4 mm, acute, midrib short-excurrent. Flowers: perianth bristles 6, ± equaling tubercle. Fruits 1 per spikelet, (2.5–)2.7–3.3(–3.5) mm, body pale brown with yellowish center, ± broadly oblong-obovoid distal to stipe, lenticular, 1.5–2 × 0.8–1 mm; tubercle narrowly triangularsubulate, (1–)1.2–1.5(–2) mm, less than 0.5 mm wide at base.

Phenology: Fruiting summer–fall.
Habitat: Moist sands and sandy peats of savannas, acidic stream banks, seeps, flatwoods, ditches, and pond shores
Elevation: 0–400 m


V23 364-distribution-map.jpg

Ala., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., La., Md., Miss., N.J., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va.


Some specimens of Rhynchospora chalarocephala are very difficult to distinguish from R. microcephala, and unquestionably intergrades occur in peninsular Florida and the Gulf southern coastal plain. Rhynchospora chalarocephala tends to have longer, paler, narrower spikelets in looser clusters; the dilated part of the fruit body has a narrower, more oblong outline; and the tubercle is both narrower with a narrower base and longer (mostly 1–1.5 mm versus 0.9–1.2 mm in R. micro-cephala). Most material is easily sorted because R. chalarocephala has paler spikelets in turbinate to hemispheric clusters; the dark brown spikelets of R. microcephala are in globose heads.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Robert Kral +
Fernald & Gale +
Ala. +, Del. +, D.C. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, La. +, Md. +, Miss. +, N.J. +, N.C. +, Okla. +, S.C. +, Tenn. +, Tex. +  and Va. +
0–400 m +
Moist sands and sandy peats of savannas, acidic stream banks, seeps, flatwoods, ditches, and pond shores +
Fruiting summer–fall. +
Illustrated +  and Endemic +
Dichromena +  and Psilocarya +
Rhynchospora chalarocephala +
Rhynchospora +
species +