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Marcus, Joseph A.
Rhynchospora colorata (L.) H. Pfeiffer
Starrush whitetop, Star sedge, White-topped sedge, Whitetop sedge
Synonyms: Dichromena colorata
USDA Symbol: rhco7
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
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. USDA Native Status: L48(N), PR(N)
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
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-TS-1
Collected 2009-07-27 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
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Record Modified: 2009-04-24
Research By: TWC Staff