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Rhynchospora latifolia (Sand-swamp whitetop sedge)
Brundage, Stephanie

Rhynchospora latifolia

Rhynchospora latifolia (Baldw. ex Elliott) W.W. Thomas

Sand-swamp Whitetop Sedge, Tall Whitetop Sedge, Whitetop Sedge, Sand-swamp Whitetop, Tall Whitetop, Whitetop, Colorful Rush

Cyperaceae (Sedge Family)

Synonym(s): Dichromena latifolia

USDA Symbol: rhla7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Unlike most members of the sedge family, 7-10 conspicuous white leaves (bracts) at the top of this 1-3 ft. grass-like plant enable it to be seen from considerable distances. The bracts surround the terminal, inconspicuous flowers.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from NC to s.e. TX
Native Habitat: Moist to wet savannas & open places

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet to moist soils.


Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACW OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Rhynchospora latifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhynchospora latifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhynchospora latifolia


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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