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Rhynchospora perplexa Britton. Pineland Beaksedge. Phen: Jul-Sep. Hab: Seasonally or intermittently ponded depression wetlands. Dist: E. NC south to ne. FL, FL Panhandle, and west to TX, and north in the interior to ec. TN; West Indies.

ID notes:The habitat for Rhynchospora perplexa is a helpful clue: it is found characteristically in seasonally or intermittently ponded depressions, rather than in seepage slopes or seepage ecotones. R. filifolia often occurs with it and is similar; that species has tight spikelet clusters (vs. spread out with branches evident in R. perplexa). R. microcarpa sometimes shares the same habitats but its seeds are bi-convex (vs. both sides flat).

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: Var. virginiana Fernald was alleged to be endemic to se. VA and to differ in several characters, including larger spikelets (2.5-3.0 mm long vs. 2.0-2.5), the achene tubercles broadly rounded at the tip (rather than deltoid and acute); after study, we do not find these characters to be consistent or to warrant taxonomic recognition.

Synonymy: = C, ETx1, FNA23, G, GW1, K1, K3, K4, RAB, Tn, Tx, Va, WH3, Bridges & Orzell (2023) in Weakley et al (2023), Gale (1944), McMillan (2007); = Rynchospora perplexa – S, S13, orthographic variant of genus name; < Rhynchospora microcarpa Baldwin ex A.Gray – Bah; > Rhynchospora perplexa Britton var. perplexa – F; > Rhynchospora perplexa Britton var. virginiana Fernald – F

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: OBL
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW
  • Great Plains: OBL

Heliophily: 8

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Radford, Ahles and Bell | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Godfrey and Wooten 1979 | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Patrick McMillan | Original Image ⭷

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