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Published In: Oesterreichische Botanische Zeitschrift 63(10): 402. 1913. (Oesterr. Bot. Z.) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

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


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1. Trichophorum planifolium (Spreng.) Palla (bashful bulrush)

Pl. 83 h–j; Map 332

Isolepis planifolia Spreng.

Scirpus planifolius Muhl. (1817), not S. planifolius Grimm (1767)

S. verecundus Fernald

Plants perennial, forming dense clumps, glabrous, frequently with the previous year’s dried herbage persisting around the base. Aerial stems many per plant, 9–40 cm long, erect to spreading or arched, slender, unbranched, sharply triangular in cross-section, minutely roughened along the angles, glabrous, the sides finely longitudinally grooved. Leaves alternate along the lower third of the stems, the lowermost leaves reduced to bladeless sheaths. Leaf sheaths light brown to pale green, the inner side papery, usually torn or convex at the tip, the ligule a short, white ridge. Leaf blades (of the uppermost leaves) mostly as long as or longer than the stems, 0.5–1.5 mm wide, spreading to ascending or more commonly arched, flat. Inflorescences terminal, composed of 1 spikelet, the involucral bract 1, similar in appearance to the bracts of the spikelet, not leaflike or stemlike, erect, 2–8 mm long, ovate, the midrib extended past the main body of the bract as an awn. Spikelets 4–7 mm long, 1.5–2.0 mm in diameter, ovate in outline, usually pointed at the tip. Florets 4–8 per spikelet, in an overlapping spiral pattern, perfect. Spikelet scales 3.0–4.5 mm long, ovate, the tips rounded to pointed, pale green to orangish brown, the midrib thickened and extended past the main body of the scale as a short awn, usually green. Perianth bristles 3–6, unequal, shorter than to longer than the fruit. Stamens 3. Styles not expanded at the base during flowering, not forming a tubercle. Stigmas 3. Ovaries and fruits naked, without a perigynium (saclike covering). Fruits oblong-elliptic in outline, unequally 3-angled, somewhat flattened, broadly concave on the side facing the spikelet axis, the surface finely pebbled, light brown to dark reddish brown, often somewhat iridescent. 2n=92. April–May.

Scattered in the eastern half of the Ozark Division (northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canada south to Virginia and Missouri). Rocky slopes of mesic to dry upland forests on chert or sandstone substrates; less commonly in bottomland forests and along creek banks.

Although once thought to be rare in Missouri, this species has proven to be fairly common in the eastern Ozarks, as was predicted by Steyermark (1963). It is a characteristic species of acidic soils on dry, forested, chert or sandstone slopes, particularly on relatively steep, north-facing ones. Plants are often overlooked in the field, both because the herbage somewhat resembles that of the more widespread Carex albicans and because the inflorescences shatter quickly after the fruits ripen. Further field work will undoubtedly reveal the presence of this species in more counties.



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