Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Elliott's Nutrush - Scleria elliottii   Chapman ex M.A. Curtis
Members of Cyperaceae:
Members of Scleria with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Family Cyperaceae
AuthorChapman ex M.A. Curtis
DistributionThis taxon was listed as a variety of S. ciliata in Weakley (2018), as S. ciliata var. elliottii. However, according to B. Sorrie (one of the website editors), it was elevated to full species status prior to then, but was inadvertently retained as var. elliottii in that publication.

Sandhills and the southern Coastal Plain; disjunct to Cherokee County in the southwestern Mountains. There is also a record in the northern Coastal Plain (Halifax County), where the distribution is poorly known; it has been collected in a handful of southeastern VA counties. Occurs in the Piedmont apparently only along the eastern edge (Anson County).

VA to FL and TX; Cuba.
AbundanceFrequent in the Sandhills, but uncommon in the southern and central Coastal Plain. Very rare in the northern Coastal Plain and southwestern Mountains. The website editors assign a State Rank of S3, as the NCNHP does not have this species in its database.
HabitatDry to mesic or moist pine savannas, pine-oak uplands, and bean dips; especially with Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris), and favoring loamy sand soils.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-September.
IdentificationCompared to S. ciliata, Elliott's Nutrush has consistently broader leaves, always densely pubescent (ciliate) stems, leaves, and bracts, and larger achenes.
Taxonomic CommentsSee Distribution comments. Listed in Weakley (2018) as a variety of S. ciliata.

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)Broad-leaved Hairy Nutrush
State Rank[S3]
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSame data. RichmondPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, upland flat in loamy sand, Aug 2014. RichmondPhoto_natural
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