Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Slender Beaksedge - Rhynchospora gracilenta   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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AuthorA. Gray
DistributionCoastal Plain and Sandhills; scattered records in the upper Piedmont and low Mountains. As with many sedges, the scarcity of records for the northern Coastal Plain is a sign of collection apathy, as nearly all eastern VA counties have collection records.

Mostly Coastal Plain, NJ to northern FL, eastern TX, and AR; central TN. Cuba, Mex., Belize, Nicaragua.
AbundanceFrequent to locally common in the Coastal Plain (apparently scarce in the northern counties) and Sandhills; very rare farther westward. The website editors suggest a State Rank of S4.
HabitatWet streamhead ecotones, pitcher-plant bogs, montane bogs, mossy shores of blackwater streams and rivers.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July to September.
IdentificationIn the field Slender Beaksedge looks like some other beaksedges, but differs strikingly in its elongate, tapering, seed beak that is 1.5-2 mm long. The culms (stems) often are leaning or lax, or even lying parallel to the ground.
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)None
State RankS2S3 [S4]
Global RankG5
State StatusW6
US Status
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USACE-empOBL link
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