Rhynchospora plumosa

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Rhynchospora plumosa
Rhyn plum.jpg
Photo by Guy Anglin, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Cyperales
Family: Cyperaceae
Genus: Rhynchospora
Species: R. plumosa
Binomial name
Rhynchospora plumosa
RHYN PLUM dist.jpg
Natural range of Rhynchospora plumosa from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Plumed beaksedge

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Rynchospora pineticola C.B. Clarke[1]; Rynchospora semiplumosa A. Gray.


A description of Rhynchospora plumosa is provided in The Flora of North America.




In the Coastal Plain in Florida, R. plumosa can occur in savanna communities, pine-palmetto scrub oaks, seasonally wet depressions in open pinewoods, flatwoods, exposed sandy bottoms of lakes, seepages slopes, hillside bogs, grass-sedge bogs, shrubby borders of depression marshes, sand ridges, mangrove swamps, dry pine barrens, and drying ephemeral ponds.[2] It can also be found in power line corridors, sandy roadsides, wet borrow pits, shrub bog clearings, pine flatwood clearings, moist roadside depressions, cut-over pinewoods, cleared palmetto scrubs, bull-dozed scrublands, boat ramps, pine plantations, and clobbered pine-wiregrass flatwoods. Soils include dry sand, moist sandy peat, loamy sand, sandy loam, and white sand.[2]

R. plumosa was found in non-disturbed longleaf pine sites in the North Carolina; in contrast, the species was not found in highly disturbed sites.[3]

Rhynchospora plumosa is frequent and abundant in the Lower Panhandle Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[4] It became absent in response to soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture in North Carolina. It has shown resistance to regrowth in reestablished longleaf sites that were disturbed by these practices.[3]

Associated species include Aristida stricta, Pinus palustris, Serenoa repens, Hypericum, Stillingia, Xyris, Rhexia mariana, Dichanthelium wrightianum, Scleria georgiana, Sarracenia flava, Drosera, Sarracenia, Rhynchospora elliottii, R. corniculata, R. chapmannii, R. pusilla, R. fascicularis, R. baldwinii, R. globularis, R. wrightiana, R. fernaldii, and R. ciliaris.[2]


This species has been observed to flower and fruit in April through December.[2][5]

Fire ecology

In longleaf pine forests of the southeastern United States, R. plumosa benefits from higher fire fequencies and is common in the second winter after after a fire.[6][7]

Herbivory and toxicology

The Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) does not prefer to eat the seeds.[7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

R. plumosa should avoid soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture to conserve its presence in pine communities.[3]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Robert K. Godfrey, S. F. Blake, Robert Kral, Mabel Kral, A. F. Clewell, Robert Blaisdell, Ann F. Johnson, Sidney McDaniel, Kurt E. Blum, S.L. Orzell, Edwin L. Bridges, H. E. Grelen, P. L. Redfearn, Edward Wheeler, S. M. Tracy, N. C. Henderson, Cecil R. Slaughter, M. Minno, Austin R. Mast, O. Lakela, A. H. Curtiss, Chris Buddenhagen, Becky Bee, Annie Schmidt. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Collier, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gulf, Hernando, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Martin, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Sumter, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, Washington. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cohen, S., R. Braham and F. Sanchez. 2004. Seed bank viability in disturbed longleaf pine sites. Restoration Ecology 12:503-515.
  4. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  6. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng and D. D. Wade. 2003. Fire frequency effects on longleaf pine (Pinus palustris, P.Miller) vegetation in South Carolina and northeast Florida, USA. Natural Areas Journal 23:22-37.
  7. 7.0 7.1 DiMiceli, J. K., P. C. Stouffer, E. I. Johnson, C. Leonardi and E. B. Moser. 2007. Seed preferences of wintering Henslow's sparrows. Condor 109:595-604.