Fuirena squarrosa

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Common name: hairy umbrella-sedge; salt-marsh umbrellagrass

Fuirena squarrosa
Fuirena squarrosa AFP.jpg
Photo by the Atlas of Florida Plants Database
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida - Moncots
Order: Poales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Fuirena
Species: F. squarrosa
Binomial name
Fuirena squarrosa
Natural range of Fuirena squarrosa from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Taxonomic Notes

Synonyms: Fuirena hispida Elliott.[1]

Varieties: none.[1]


F. squarrosa is a native perennial graminoid that is a member of the Cyperaceae family [2]. Species in this family grow reproductive units in the form of spikelets, which contain highly simplified flowers [3]. F. squarrosa has alternate simple leaves shaped linearly, and contains a fibrous root structure like most Monocots. The inflorescence is a spikelet, like other grasses, and the perianth contains bristles.[4]


The species can be found in the Southeast United States, ranging from Texas to Virginia, as well as in the Northeast in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York [2]. It becomes more rare in communities located in Tennessee, Delaware, and New Jersey [5]. Although it is mainly distributed along the southeastern coastal plain, it is less strictly limited than other species.[6]



F. squarrosa can be found in mesic communities, including sphagnous bogs, [7] and can be found infrequently in pine-palmetto communities and wet prairies [8]. As well, F. squarrosa is present in habitats ranging from wet sandy loams of roadside depressions and other wet loamy sand disturbed sites. [9] In the New York coastal plain ponds, F. squarrosa is seen to be restricted to pond-shores, and is only observed in low water years.[10] It is listed by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as an obligate wetland species, where it only occurs in wetland habitats.[2] As well, F. squarrosa is considered an indicator species of panhandle seepage savannas in north Florida.[11]

Associated species - Eleocharis tuberculosa, Gentiana saponaria, Bartonia paniculata, Platanthera cristata, Pyrus arbutifolia, and Viburnum nudum [7].

Fuirena squarrosa is an indicator species for the Panhandle Seepage Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[12]


This species generally flowers from July until October.[6] This bloom time also denotes the fruiting period for F. squrrosa.[4] Flowering time ranges continuously from August until October, while fruit development has been seen in the months of May and October. [9]

Fire ecology

Sphagnous bogs and other similar communities are fire dependent due to their high acidity, which makes F. squarrosa dependent on fire frequency [13].

Herbivory and toxicology

This species is considered to be of poor foraging quality.[14]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

This species is listed as threatened by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Natural Features Inventory, and is listed as a species of special concern by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Natural Heritage Program.[2]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 USDA Plants Database URL: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=FUSQ
  3. Reutemann, A. G., Vegetti, A. C., and Pozner, R. Inflorescence development in Abildgaardieae (Cyperaceae, Cyperoideae). Flora 210: 3-12.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center URL: www.wildflower.org
  5. NatureServe Explorer URL: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/
  6. 6.0 6.1 Weakley, A. S. (2015). Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bridges, E. L. and S. L. Orzell (1989). "Syngonanthus flavidulus (Eriocaulaceae) new to Mississippi." SIDA, Contributions to Botany 13(4): 512-515.
  8. Hilmon, J. B. (1964). "Plants of the Caloosa Experimental Range " U.S. Forest Service Research Paper SE-12
  9. 9.0 9.1 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2018. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Ed Keppner, Lisa Keppner, Travis MacClendon, Karen MacClendon, George Wilder, J. Roche, R. A. Norris, Helen Roth, Floyd Griffith, and Richard Carter. States and counties: Florida: Putnam, Bay, Calhoun, Leon, Gadsden, and Jackson. Georgia: Brantley.
  10. Zaremba, R. E. and E. E. Lamont (1993). "The status of the coastal plain pondshore community in New York." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 120(2): 180-187.
  11. Carr, S. C., et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.
  12. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  13. Campbell, C. S. (1983). "Systematics of the Andropogon virginicus complex (Gramineae)." Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 64(2): 171-254.
  14. Hilman, J. B. (1964). "Plants of the Caloosa Experimental Range " U.S. Forest Service Research Paper SE-12