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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/1/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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3. Fimbristylis littoralis Gaudich. var. littoralis

Pl. 76 h–j; Map 288

Plants annual, tufted, lacking rhizomes. Stems few to many, 5–35(–50) cm long, erect to ascending, glabrous. Leaves with blades 2–10 cm long, glabrous or minutely roughened, the margins flat, the top of the sheath without a ligule. Inflorescences usually compound umbels, sometimes only simple umbels, the 2–3 bracts shorter than the inflorescence, at least some of the spikelets usually short- to long-stalked, not hidden by the inflorescence bracts. Spikelets 2–4 mm long, broadly ovate to oblong or nearly circular in outline, rounded at the tip, the scales 0.8–1.2 mm long, broadly ovate, the tip rounded, the back usually slightly keeled, the midvein not extended past the scale tip, glabrous, brown to dark brown with the midvein lighter brown or green. Stamens 1–2. Stigmas 3, the style fringed below the branches. Fruits 0.9–1.1 mm long, obovate in outline, slightly 3-angled to nearly circular in cross-section, the surface reticulate with 9–13 vertical rows of cells, often also somewhat warty, light brown to tan. 2n=10. October.

Uncommon, known only from Stoddard County (southeastern U.S. to South America, Caribbean Islands; also in the Old World tropics).

This species has been called F. miliacea (L.) Vahl in most previous North American floras. Blake (1954), Kern (1954, 1974), and Kral (1971) have discussed the nomenclatural problems resulting from different interpretations of this taxon’s typification. The name F. miliacea is properly applied to a related pantropical species that occurs in the New World only as far north as Puerto Rico.

The Missouri population of F. littoralis is at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and is at the northern distributional extreme of the species in North America. It was first reported by Dunn and Knauer (1975). The species is most likely a recent addition to the state’s flora and was probably distributed there by migratory waterfowl.



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