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Scleria reticularis Michaux. Netted Nutrush. Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: Limesink ponds, pondcypress savannas in clay-based Carolina bays. Dist: MA south to FL, west to e. LA, north to IN, MI, and WI. Reports from Mexico are based on S. muehlenbergii.

ID notes:Scleria reticularis is an annual and lacks tough horizontal rhizomes as in most other nutrushes. The tufted stems grow 1.5-5 dm tall. It is very similar to S. muehlenbergii, but the lowermost spikelet cluster (about 1/3 the distance up the stem) is on a short, erect stalk (vs. on an elongate, slender stalk that arches out and droops in S. muehlenbergii). The seeds are hairless (vs. distinctly short-hairy in that species). Also note habitat differences; that species grows in seepages, savannas, and montane bogs -- not in isolated natural Coastal Plain ponds. In normal specimens, the achene reticulation ridges are soft-edged and obliquely sloped. Occasional stipitate-capitate fungal growth on the achene has been mistaken for pubescence (a condition perhaps restricted to herbarium specimens), apparently contributing to the unwarranted agglomeration of this distinctive taxon and S. muehlenbergii.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: There is controversy about typification of the name Scleria reticularis (Camelbeke, Reznicek, & Goetghebeur 2003).

Synonymy: = ETx1, F, FNA23, K1, K3, K4, Mi, NE, NY, S, S13, Tat; = Scleria reticularis Michx. var. reticularis – G, Fairey (1967); < Scleria muhlenbergii Steud. – Pa; < Scleria reticularis Michx. – C, GW1, RAB, W, WH3

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW
  • Great Plains: FACW
  • Midwest: OBL
  • Northcentral & Northeast: OBL

Heliophily: 8

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Weakley source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Weakley source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Radford, Ahles and Bell | Original Image ⭷


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