Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Baldwin's Flatsedge - Cyperus croceus   Vahl
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Cyperaceae
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AuthorVahl
DistributionThroughout the Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont; several records westward but absent from the Mountains.

NJ, PA, and MO south to FL and TX; Mex. south to Ven.
AbundanceFrequent in most of the Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont, but rare to uncommon in the northern Coastal Plain; rare elsewhere.
HabitatMesic to moist pinelands, savannas, open woodlands, disturbed areas.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-October.
IdentificationThe globular heads are usually distinctive, as few other Cyperus have that shape. Cyperus echinatus also has rotund heads, but they are compact and dense (vs. relatively open in C. croceus). Floral scales of C. croceus are whitish with red speckles (vs. straw colored or brownish in C. echinatus).
Taxonomic CommentsA synonym is C. globosus Boeckeler. In RAB (1968) and elsewhere in the literature, the name C. globulosus Aublet was misapplied to plants of C. croceus.

The genus Cyperus is mostly tropical and warm-temperate in distribution; thus, in NC it is much commoner in the Coastal Plain than in the Mountains and Piedmont. Most species have 1-few flowering stems (culms) from grasslike basal leaves, plus a few stem leaves. At the summit is an inflorescence of very open and branched, or tightly packed, spikes, varying among species from brown to golden brown to straw-color to reddish. The arrangement of the spikelets is important, whether like a hand (digitate) or in paired rows (pinnate); as is the shape of the achene (seed), whether bi-convex in cross-section or triangular. As a group, Cyperus tends to be weedy and readily enters disturbed ground; this is true for many natives as well as all the aliens. In recent years, following DNA research, the genus has incorporated several genera that in RAB (1968) or other manuals were separate: Hemicarpha, Lipocarpha, and Kyllinga.
Other Common Name(s)Pine-barren Flatsedge, Yellow Flatsedge
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