Rhynchospora plumosa Elliott
Distribution: Mid-Atlantic states to Mesoamerica
Habitat: Wet depressions
Florida status: Native, common
Recognition: Key to species with plumose achene bristles:
1. Spikelets 8-10 mm long,..Rhynchospora megaplumosa (Bristles plumose, 5-7.5 mm, much longer than achene (this > 2 mm). The bristles pushing outward, MUCH longer than in R. plumosa or R. pineticola.)
1. Spikelets 3.5-6 mm long…2
2. Achene body (1.5)2-2.2 mm long, the tubercle 0.5-0.8(1) mm long; bristles exceeding the tubercle; leaves (1)2-3 mm wide…Rhynchospora pineticola (Synonym of R. intermedia in Wunderlin and see note below re. R. plumosa)
2. Achene body 1.3-1.8 (2) mm long, the tubercle 0.3-0.5 mm long, the bristles shorter than the tubercle tip or a little longer; leaves 1-1.5 mm wide…Rhynchospora plumosa
Note: In Godfrey, R. K. & J. W. Wooten, Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southeastern United States, Monocotyledons. P. 370. Rhynchospora intermedia (R. pineticola) is treated as a synonym of R. plumosa with a brief discussion of the authors' inability to discern two separate species. We experience the same difficulty.
From FNA: Rhynchospora pineticola is distinguished from taller extremes of R. plumosa by its thicker leaves and scapes and its longer spikelets and fruit. Its bases are a deep rich red-brown rather than the pale brown or dull deep brown of R. plumosa.