CYPERUS RETROFRACTUS (L) Torrey
retrofractus (L.) Torrey var. dipsaciformis (Fernald) Kukenthal.
HABIT: Herbaceous perennial from a short, thick rhizome
with corm-like enlargements; culms 2.5-8 dm.; fruiting August-September.
SPECIES: Very similar to Cyperus
lancastriensis, from which it can be distinguished only with
difficulty. Close examination of
technical characters of the scales and spikelets is required. Superficially resembles the common C.
strigosus, but differs in its strongly reflexed lower spikelets with terete
or angled, not compressed scales.
RANGE: GA to MO, n. to NJ and OH.
RANGE: There are post-1950 collections
from Gallia and Jackson counties. There
is a pre-1950 specimen from Hocking County.
STATUS: 1980 to present: Endangered.
HABITAT: A variety of open, dry situations, usually
in sandy soil; fields, open woods, clearings, barrens.
HAZARDS: Overshading by woody species as a result of
succession; soil compaction.
POTENTIAL: Probably good, since it is
tolerant of moderate disturbance.
GUIDELINES: Collect complete mature
COMMENTS: When typical, this is a fairly distinctive
sedge. However, it is very difficult to
determine accurately many Ohio specimens of C. dipsaciformis and C.
lancastriensis. They not only grow
in the same habitats, but also seem to intergrade with one another. This taxonomic problem deserves serious
C. dipsaciformis occasionally
is treated as a variety of C. retrofractus. The specific rank is retained here, however, pending more
This species should be sought
throughout southern Ohio.
A.E., H.E. Ahles and C.R. Bell.
1968. Manual of the vascular
flora of the Carolinas. Univ. of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Created: 2/1982 Allison