Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Short-bristle Horned Beaksedge - Rhynchospora corniculata   (Lamarck) A. Gray
Members of Cyperaceae:
Members of Rhynchospora with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Cyperaceae
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Author(Lamarck) A. Gray
DistributionCoastal Plain, Sandhills, and lower Piedmont, extending as far west as Guilford and Gaston counties.

DE to IL, MO, and OK, south to FL and TX.
AbundanceFrequent to common throughout the Coastal Plain and Sandhills, uncommon westward in the Piedmont. Seemingly not common in the far eastern counties. This is clearly an S5 species, not S4 as assigned by the NCNHP.
HabitatFreshwater marshes, openings in swamp forests, shores of small rivers, beaver wetlands, impoundment margins.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July-September.
IdentificationThis is one of our most robust beaksedge species, generally 3-5 feet tall, several stems forming a clump; its perigynia have long beaks. The inflorescence is open, but not as open as in R. careyana or R. inundata, and much more open than any R. macrostachya. It is told from the first two by the lack of horizontal rhizomes, and from the last by bristles much shorter than the seed (vs. much longer in that species).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Members of the genus Rhynchospora -- mainly called beaksedges but also called beakrushes -- are mostly Coastal Plain in distribution and are important members of our longleaf pine savannas, flatwoods, streamheads, depression ponds, Carolina bays, and beaver ponds. They vary from small and wiry to large and coarse. Keys concentrate on features of the achenes (seeds) and the shape and arrangement of the flower clusters (spikelets). The seeds may or not have bristles at their base; bristle number, length, and toothing are critical characters. Size and shape of the seed beaks is also critical. The drawings in Godfrey & Wooten (1979) are extremely helpful. The genus now includes Dichromena, the white-topped sedges.
Other Common Name(s)Essentially none. This is an awkwardly long common name, but in general agreement with most references/websites.
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorriePiedmont, NC 22 N of NC 24/27, moist ditch, Sept 2010. MoorePhoto_natural
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