Rhynchospora colorata (L.) H. Pfeiffer
Starrush whitetop, Star sedge, White-topped sedge, Whitetop sedge, Star rush
Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)
Synonym(s): Dichromena colorata, Rhynchospora drummondiana, Rhynchospora stellata, Schoenus coloratus
USDA Symbol: rhco7
Spikelets in a round cluster enclosed at base by a set of 5-6 long, drooping, white bracts with green tips; stem triangular.
The striking whitish bracts on this sedge make it appear as if it has showy, daisy-like flowers. These bracts attract insect pollinators, which is unusual in this primarily wind-pollinated family. The genus name is from the Greek rhynchos (beak) and spora (seed) and alludes to the beaked achenes. The showier Sand-swamp White-top Sedge (R. latifolia), with at least seven longer, wider bracts, is most conspicuous in wet pinelands and savannas; it occurs on the coastal plain from North Carolina to Florida and west to Mississippi. Both species are sometimes placed in the genus Dichromena.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Size Notes: 1-2 feet.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX , VA
Native Distribution: Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas.
Native Habitat: Frequent in swales, ditches and wet places in southeast Texas, Rio Grande Plains, Edwards Plateau, to Trans-Pecos. Grows in sand, loam, or clay, poor drainage okay. Sometimes grows submerged in shallow water.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Conditions Comments: Star sedge is a showy addition to a bog or water garden. It will also grow in regular garden soil with plenty of water. Divide the plant when the clumps get too big. Cut star sedge back in winter to make room for fresh spring growth.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationCommercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-TS-1 Collected 2009-07-27 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rhynchospora colorata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhynchospora colorata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhynchospora colorata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-12
Research By: TWC Staff