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Published In: Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York 3: 205–206. 1835. (Ann. Lyceum Nat. Hist. New York) 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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3. Rhynchospora corniculata (Lam.) A. Gray (horned rush)

Pl. 79 g, h; Map 301

R. corniculata var. interior Fernald

Plants forming clumps or dense colonies, usually with rhizomes. Aerial stems 80–190 cm long, stout, often somewhat bulbous-thickened at the base. Leaves basal and alternate, the uppermost leaves somewhat reduced, the leaf blade 8–100 cm long, (6–)8–20 mm wide, flat or somewhat folded longitudinally. Inflorescences diffuse, with numerous loose clusters of 4–14 spikelets. Spikelets 15–25 mm long, lanceolate in outline, attenuate at the tip, with 1(2) of the florets fertile. Spikelet scales 4.5–7.5 mm long, ovate, pointed, with a raised midvein, yellowish brown to orangish brown. Perianth bristles usually 5(3–6), 2–4 mm long, much shorter than the main body of the fruit, of unequal lengths and somewhat broadened at the base, smooth or minutely pubescent with upwardly pointing barbs, sometimes shiny. Fruits with the tubercle 13–20 mm long, narrowly triangular-attenuate, extending past the spikelet tip, minutely pubescent with upwardly pointing hairs, the main body 3.5–5.5 mm long, obovate in outline, flattened, the surface smooth or faintly or minutely reticulate, brown. June–September.

Scattered mostly in the southeastern quarter of the state, locally north to St. Louis and Audrain Counties, most commonly in the Mississippi Lowlands (southeastern U.S. west to Texas; Caribbean Islands). Mesic to swampy bottomland forests, and along spring branches; also along ditches and canals.

The var. interior has variously been segregated from var. corniculata based upon its shorter and narrower main bodies of the fruits. Most Missouri materials appear to fall into the range of variation ascribed to var. corniculata; however, some populations exhibit a range of variation that encompasses both extremes. The varieties therefore do not appear to merit taxonomic recognition. See the treatment of R. macrostachya for further discussion on the separation of this species from R. corniculata.

This robust species often has large, diffuse inflorescences and often occurs in large, dense colonies. Vegetative shoots usually are produced during the later half of the growing season and can outnumber the fertile stems.



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