Scleria ciliata

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Scleria ciliata
Scle cili.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: Scleria
Species: S. ciliata
Binomial name
Scleria ciliata
SCLE CILI dist.jpg
Natural range of Scleria ciliata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Fringed nutrush, Hairy nutrush

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Scleria pauciflora Muhl. ex Willd. var. curtissii (Britton) Fairey; Scleria brittonii Core ex Small.[1]

Variety: Scleria ciliata Michaux var. glabra (Chapman) Fairey; Scleria ciliata var. curtissii (Britton) Kessler.[2]


A description of Scleria ciliata is provided in The Flora of North America.


Scleria sp. nov. aff. ciliata is endemic to an area from southeastern North Carolina to northeastern South Carolina as a single disjunct population in the piedmont region.[3]



S. ciliata can be found in longleaf pine flatwoods, upland pine forests, longleaf pine/wiregrass/scrub oak pinelands, grassy-scrub margins of depression marshes, open pinewoods, pine ridges between sloughs, longleaf pine-turkey oak sandridges and barrens, pine savannas, sandstone rock outcrops, xeric oak/saw palmetto scrubs, peaty flats bordering lakes, evergreen scrub oak sand ridges, bogs, wet hammocks, young pine plantations, moist meadows, swamp clearings, sandflats, burned old fields, burned palmetto-slashpine woodlands, and lake shores.[4][5][6] It can also occur in powerline corridors, open sandy chopped up fields, roadside depressions, turkey oak clearings, grassy pastures with Sarracenia flava, along highways, clearings of pine stands, edges of logging roads, shrub bog clearings, open slashpine flatwoods, mixed hardwood/cabbage palm hammocks, a bulldozed area in scrub-oak barren behind beach, clearings of slash pine flatwoods, along walking trails, and drained clearings of wet hammocks.

S. ciliata has shown resistance to regrowth in reestablished pine woodlands that were disturbed by agriculture in North Carolina, making it a remnant woodland indicator species.[7] S. ciliata became absent in response to soil disturbance by heavy silvilculture in North Carolina.[8] This species decreased its occurrence or was unaffected in response to soil disturbance by roller chopping in South Florida.[9] Soils include dry loamy sand, sand, sandy loam, and silt over clay.[5]

Scleria ciliata var. ciliata is frequent and abundant in the Peninsula Xeric Sandhills, Panhandle Xeric Sandhills, North Florida Longleaf Woodlands, North Florida Subxeric Sandhills, Clayhill Longleaf Woodlands, and Panhandle Silty Longleaf Woodlands community types as described in Carr et al. (2010).[10]

Associated species include Sporobolus, Sporobolus junceus, Andropogon, Aristida stricta, Pinus palustris, Eleocharis, Juncus, Cyperus filiculmis, Rhynchospora, Rhynchospora glabularis, Hypericum, Liatris chapmanii, Sarracenia flava, Polygala, Rhexia, Xyris, Panicum, Stillingia aquatica, Ilex, Myrica and Drosera brevifolia.[5]


This species has been observed to flower from March through September and fruits March through December.[5][11]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[12]

Fire ecology

Populations of Scleria ciliata have been known to persist through repeated annual burns,[13][14][15] and is found in recently burned longleaf pine habitats.[5] S. ciliata reached its peak abundance in 3-year rough plots, plots which had been last burned 3 growing seasons ago.[4]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

S. ciliata should avoid soil disturbance by agriculture, heavy silvilculture, and roller chopping to conserve its presence in pine communities.[7][8][9]

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. 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.
  3. Sorrie, B. A. and A. S. Weakley 2001. Coastal Plain valcular plant endemics: Phytogeographic patterns. Castanea 66: 50-82.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Buckner, J. L. and J. L. Landers. 1979. Fire and disking effects on herbaceous food plants and seed supplies. Journal of Wildlife Management 43:807-811.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, John B. Nelson, R. Kral, Mabel Kral, C. Jackson, Gwynn W. Ramsey, R.K. Godfrey, R. S. Mitchell, R. A. Norris, Andre F. Clewell, R. F. Doren, Helen Roth, Chris Buddenhagen, Austin Mast, Cecil R Slaughter, L. B. Smith, A. R. Hodgdon, Grady W. Reinert, J. N. Triplett, Jr., William Lindsey, George R. Cooley, Richard J. Eaton, William B. Fox, H. L. Blomquist, V. L. Cory, C. Ritchie Bell, A. E. Radford, James D. Ray, Raymond Athey, Robert F. Thorne, A. H. Curtiss, Sidney McDaniel, Richard D. Houk, Chas. C. Deam, Paul O. Schallert, Ted Bradley, John Stevenson, Edwin L. Tyson. States and Counties: Alabama: Baldwin, Houston. Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Duval, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hernando, Indian River, Jackson, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Volusia, Wakulla, Walton, Washington. Georgia: Atkinson, Grady, Lowndes, Miller, Seminole, Tattnall, Thomas, Wayne. Kentucky: Todd. Mississippi: Lamar. North Carolina: Bladen, Brunswick, Pamlico, Pender. South Carolina: Oconee. Texas: Hardin. Virginia: Dinwiddie. Panama. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  6. Jutila, H. M. and J. B. Grace. 2002. Effects of disturbance on germination and seedling establishment in a coastal prairie grassland: a test of the competitive release hypothesis. Journal of Ecology 90:291-302.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Brudvig, L.A., J.L. Orrock, E.I. Damschen, C.D. Collins, P.G. Hahn, W.B. Mattingly, J.W. Veldman, and J.L. Walker. (2014). Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86604.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Cohen, S., R. Braham, and F. Sanchez. (2004). Seed Bank Viability in Disturbed Longleaf Pine Sites. Restoration Ecology 12(4):503-515.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lewis, C.E. (1970). Responses to Chopping and Rock Phosphate on South Florida Ranges. Journal of Range Management 23(4):276-282.
  10. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  11. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  12. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  13. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  14. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  15. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.