Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Baldwin's Nutrush - Scleria baldwinii   (Torrey) Steudel
Members of Cyperaceae:
Members of Scleria with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Cyperaceae
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Author(Torrey) Steudel
DistributionSouthern outer Coastal Plain. Known only from Brunswick, Columbus, Pender, and Carteret counties.

Coastal Plain, NC to southern FL and southeastern TX; Bahamas, Cuba.
AbundanceRare. The NCNHP database lists only 8 records, all extant, with 3-4 still in good condition, suggesting a State Rank closer to S1S2 than to a straight S2. This is a State Threatened species.
HabitatDepressions in wet pine savannas and flatwoods, often with Pond Pine (Pinus serotina) and Pond Cypress (Taxodium ascendens).
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Sandy, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-July.
IdentificationThis is a robust nutrush, having a stem up to 3 feet tall, from a thick, knotty, horizontal rhizome. The spikelets are in a terminal cluster, with a long erect bract that appears as a continuation of the stem. It is similar to Georgia Nutrush (S. georgiana), but is larger in almost all respects, including the seeds (3-4 mm long vs. 2-3 mm long in that species).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

The genus Scleria, named as nutrushes, is a group of sedges notable for the white, often glossy, achenes (seeds) and tough, knotty, horizontal rhizomes (absent in S. verticillata, S. muehlenbergii, and S. reticularis). Stems are 1-many per plant, terminated by inflorescences of 1-several spikelets, subtended by leafy bracts. In some species there are also inflorescences produced from upper and middle stem leaf axils, these usually on long arching stalks. A dissecting scope is necessary to examine the achene for shape, ornamentation (bumps, pits, ridges), and hairs. Just as important are features of the hypogonium, upon which the achene tightly sits: present or not, how many lobes, and ornamentation (bumps, sharp points, etc.).
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2
Global RankG4
State StatusT
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-emp
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken 1991, Apalachicola NF, FL. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
B.A. SorriePhoto taken 1989, clay-based Carolina bay, Branchville, SC. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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