Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Carolina Fimbry - Fimbristylis caroliniana   (Lamarck) Fernald
Members of Cyperaceae:
Members of Fimbristylis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Cyperaceae
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Author(Lamarck) Fernald
DistributionOuter Coastal Plain and Outer Banks, ranging inland only to Chowan and Beaufort counties.

Maritime, NJ to southern FL and southern TX; Yucatan; West Indies.
AbundanceFrequent, and quite widespread, along the coast; lacking specimens for only a few counties that border coastal and tidal waters. The website editors suggest a State Rank of S4.
HabitatBrackish and fresh-tidal marshes, maritime wet grasslands. Elsewhere in its range occurs also in pine savannas and flatwoods, but apparently not in NC.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-September.
IdentificationThis is a robust fimbry, with the stems potentially up to 4 feet tall but usually half that (which is still much taller than most others in the state). It is very similar to F. castanea, but its leaves are relatively thin and flat or V-shaped in life (vs. thick and semicircular in cross-section in F. castanea) and its seeds are less than 1.5 mm long (vs. 1.5-2 mm long in that species).
Taxonomic CommentsIn some older texts, both F. caroliniana and F. castanea were lumped under F. spadicea (L.) Vahl.

Plants of the the genus Fimbristylis are very small to tall (3+ feet), with most leaves in a basal tuft, and an open, branched, terminal inflorescence. The spikelets are various shades of rufous, chestnut, or brown (due to the color of the scales) and resemble tiny pinecones. Important key characters include size, shape, and ornamentation of the achenes (seeds); see also other characters used by Weakley (2018). Godfrey & Wooten (1979) have excellent drawings and descriptions.
Other Common Name(s)Tufted Fimbry
State Rank[S4]
Global RankG4
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieDare mainland, Manteo, brackish marsh on Shipyard Road, July 2012. DarePhoto_natural

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