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Scleria nitida Willdenow. Shining Nutrush. Phen: May-Oct. Hab: Sandhills, dry sandy or rocky soil of pine/scrub oak woodlands, ridgetop forests at lower elevations in the Mountains such as pine/oak heaths, and heath balds. Dist: MA, VA, and KY south to FL, west to LA and MO (also see note under S. triglomerata); reported from LA, but documentation has not been located. Although widespread at least historically in the Carolinas, it does not appear to be common anywhere.

ID notes: The stems of Scleria nitida are most often solitary or few to a tuft, 2-2.5 feet tall. The lower leaf sheaths are dark purplish red and covered with very short hairs. It looks similar to S. minor of seepages and wet savannas, but S. nitida has thicker stems, wider leaves, and larger seeds (2-3 mm long vs. 1.5-2 mm long in S. minor). It is very similar to S. triglomerata of seepages and wet savannas, but with narrower stems and leaves, and leaf sheaths are pubescent (vs. smooth in S. triglomerata). It is similar to S. flaccida of maritime woodlands, but it never forms colonies or patches of plants and the base of the seed (hypogonium) has tiny rounded bumps (vs. covered with what looks like tiny shards of glass in S. flaccida).

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Synonymy: = F, Tat; < Scleria nitida Willd. – G; < Scleria triglomerata Michx. – C, FNA23, GW1, K1, K3, K4, Mo1, NE, RAB, S, S13, W, WH3, Fairey (1967)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Great Plains: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Midwest: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily ?: 6

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷

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