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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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4. Fimbristylis puberula (Michx.) Vahl var. puberula

Pl. 77 d–f; Map 289

Plants perennial, with short, knotty or bulblike rhizomes. Aerial stems few to many, 25–85 cm long, mostly erect, often expanded at the very base and with persistent, fibrous remains of old leaves, glabrous. Leaves with blades 5–50 cm long, glabrous or hairy, the margins flat or more commonly curled under, the top of the sheath without a ligule or with a few short hairs, but the edges of the sheath apex usually with a fringe of hairs. Inflorescences varying from nearly capitate clusters of few spikelets to more usually umbels, sometimes partially with umbels of capitate spikelet clusters, the 2–5 bracts mostly shorter than to less commonly up to twice as long as the inflorescence, at least some of the spikelets usually short- to long-stalked, not hidden by the inflorescence bracts. Spikelets 5–11 mm long, lanceolate to narrowly ovate or elliptic in outline, pointed or rounded at the tip, the scales 1.2–1.9 mm long, ovate to obovate, the tip rounded, the midvein usually extended past the scale tip as a short point, sparsely to densely pubescent with short, curly hairs and often with longer hairs along the margins, reddish brown to brown with thinner, lighter, narrow margins, the main veins usually green or yellowish brown. Stamens 3. Stigmas 2, the style usually fringed below the branches. Fruits 1.0–1.4 mm long, obovate in outline, somewhat flattened (biconvex) in cross-section, sometimes only slightly flattened, the surface nearly smooth to finely reticulate with 20–40 (rarely more) vertical rows of cells, light to dark brown or less commonly gray. 2n=20, 40. May–July.

Scattered in Missouri, mostly south of the Missouri River, but absent from the Mississippi Lowlands (eastern U.S. west to Missouri and Texas). Upland prairies, glades, and rocky openings of upland forests, on both calcareous and acidic substrates.

Steyermark (1963) and some earlier authors mistakenly referred to Missouri plants as the closely related F. caroliniana (Lam.) Fernald, a species that occurs in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States and eastern Mexico (Kral, 1971; Dunn, 1982). It differs in a variety of subtle features, most notably its having the upper part of the aerial stems somewhat flattened, the leaves broader, and the production of long, slender rhizomes. Part of this confusion was undoubtedly caused by the presence in Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas of a second variety of F. puberula, var. interior (Britton) Kral, which also produces slender rhizome branches in addition to the more bulbous rhizomes of the species.



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