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Rhynchospora alba (Linnaeus) Vahl. Northern White Beaksedge. Phen: Jul-Oct. Hab: Mountain bogs and fens, peaty situations in the Coastal Plain, such as low pocosins in peat domes or large Carolina bays, and floating peat mats in limesink (doline) ponds and bay lakes, also in seepage bogs with abundant Sphagnum, generally occurring in the most open, harshest, and peatiest areas; northward in a variety of peatland habitats. Dist: Circumboreal, in North America from NL (Labrador) west to AK, south to SC, e. TN, ne. TN (where perhaps extirpated), IL, SK, ID, and CA; disjunct in se. GA (Charlton County, at the Okefenokee Swamp) (Williges & Loftin 1995), s. AL (Escambia County; specimen at CLEMS), and the mountains of Puerto Rico.

ID notes:The white or whitish heads and 10-12 seed bristles are diagnostic in combination. R. macra looks closely similar but it has 16-20 bristles per seed; R. pallida also has whitish to tan heads and a distinctive, enlarged, generally bulbous base to the plant.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Synonymy: = C, F, FNA23, G, GW1, Il, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, Tat, Tn, Va, W, WV, Gale (1944), McMillan (2007); = Rynchospora alba – S; = Rynchospora alba (L.) Vahl var. alba – S13

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: OBL
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: OBL
  • Great Plains: OBL
  • Midwest: OBL
  • Northcentral & Northeast: OBL

Heliophily: 9

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image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Radford, Ahles and Bell | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Patrick McMillan | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Godfrey and Wooten 1979 | Original Image ⭷

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