Scleria ciliata Michx. - Nut Sedge

Scleria ciliata plant

Family - Cyperaceae

Stems - No info yet.

Scleria ciliata rhizomeRhizome.

Scleria ciliata stemStem cross-section.

Leaves - No info yet.

Scleria ciliata leaf sheathLeaf sheath.

Inflorescence - No info yet.

Scleria ciliata flowers

Scleria ciliata inflorescence

Flowers - No info yet.

Scleria ciliata fruitFruit...

Scleria ciliata fruit...again.

Flowering - June - October.

Habitat - Glades, upland prairies, savannas, dry open woods.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This hairy species can be found in the Ozark Region of Missouri. It typically grows in acid soils. The plant is pubescent throughout and some authors try to separate the species into several varieties based on this pubescence. I won't go into those here. Another species, S. pauciflora Muhl., is very similar and the two may not be different taxonomically.
Of the 6 species of Scleria currently recognized in Missouri, 4 have roughened fruits and 2 have smooth fruits. The texture of the fruits is typically the first character to look for when trying to ID plants of this genus. To differentiate between the rough-fruited plants, it is important to look for the tubercles at the base of the fruits:

Scleria ciliata fruitArrow shows one of the tubercles (two can be seen in this pic).

Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 6-17-03, and at Fort Benning, GA., 7-3-05.


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