Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Thorne's Beaksedge - Rhynchospora thornei   Kral
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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DistributionSouthern outer Coastal Plain only. Known only from Brunswick, Onslow, and Pender counties.

Mostly Coastal Plain, NC to northern FL and southern AL; inland in AL and GA.
AbundanceVery rare in the state, but within its narrow habitat requirements, it can be locally numerous. The NCNHP database lists 15 records, all extant, and many in good or excellent condition. Plants may sometimes form a dense turf with dozens of culms and associated leaves. This is a State Special Concern species.
HabitatSavannas, roadsides, and clearings, all underlain by limestone or marl. Most of these conditions and sites reside in northeastern Pender and adjacent western Onslow counties, and in far western Brunswick County.
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Clayey, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late June-August.
IdentificationThis species is a short (less than 10 inches tall), slender, tufted beaksedge that may form "turfy" patches. It resembles R. divergens and R. pusilla, and may grow with them, but it differs in possessing seed bristles.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species is not in RAB (1968), as it was later described as a new species by T. Kral.

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 RankS2
Global RankG3
State StatusSC-V
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorriePhoto taken 2002, Cherokee County, AL. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
B.A. SorriePender County, 1991, The Neck Savanna. OnslowPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieOnslow County, 2000. OnslowPhoto_natural
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