Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Slender Nutrush - Scleria minor   (Britton) W. Stone
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Cyperaceae
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Author(Britton) W. Stone
DistributionSouthern 2/3 of the Coastal Plain, and the Sandhills; disjunct to the southern Mountains. Likely occurs in additional northern Coastal Plain counties, plus some in the middle Coastal Plain.

NJ to FL and TX.
AbundanceInfrequent to perhaps frequent in the Sandhills and much of the Coastal Plain; rare in the southern Mountains and in most of the northern Coastal Plain.
HabitatWet blackwater streamhead ecotones, wet pine savannas, pitcher-plant bogs, montane bogs.
See also Habitat Account for General Herbaceous Peatlands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-August.
IdentificationThis is a very slender and graceful nutrush. In the field it resembles S. nitida, but it inhabits wet seepages rather than dry uplands; its leaves and stems are narrower; and the seeds are shorter (1-2 mm vs. 2-3 mm in that species). It may co-occur with S. triglomerata, which is larger in every respect.
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 RankS3 [S3S4]
Global RankG4
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