Spermatophytes (seed plants): Angiosperms (flowering plants): Monocots: Commelinids: Poales
Dig deeper at SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria.
In the field it appears as a small tuft of fairly broad leaves with flowering stems usually hidden within, and therefore often passed by. It is very close to C. umbellata but differs in its longer perigynia. From C. rugosperma, it is told by the leaves smooth on the upper surface (vs. roughened). Read more at Vascular Plants of North Carolina.
SYNONYMOUS WITH Floristic Synthesis of North America. BONAP (Kartesz, 2021)
SYNONYMOUS WITH Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 23 (2002)
Carex tonsa var. tonsa
INCLUDED WITHIN VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968) 030-17-042?:
Carex umbellata FAMILY Cyperaceae
To see larger pictures, click or hover over the thumbnails.
JK Marlow jkm230320_1689b
March Greenville County SC
Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
Culms hidden among the leaves, per Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968).
JK Marlow jkm220421_7161
April Pickens County SC
Nine Times Forest
Young leaves short, broad and rigid, per Weakley's Flora (2022).
Floristic Synthesis of North America. BONAP (Kartesz, 2021)
Flora of North America north of Mexico, vol. 23
Carex tonsa var. tonsa
Grass, Sedge, or Rush
Habitat: Dry rock outcrops, xeric disturbed areas, old fields, per Weakley's Flora
Native to the Carolinas & Georgia
Uncommon in NC Mountains & NC Piedmont (rare elsewhere in GA-NC-SC) (distribution and habitats obscure)
CLICK HERE to see a map, notes, and images from Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern US.
Click here to see a map showing all occurrences known to SERNEC, a consortium of southeastern herbaria. (Zoom in to see more detail.)
Loosely or densely cespitose [growing in dense tufts, clumping]
Inflorescences: spikes (terminal spike staminate; 1-3 lateral spikes pistillate)
TO LEARN MORE about this plant, look it up in a good book!
If a search such as "Carex leptalea var. leptalea" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "Carex leptalea".
Or, to minimize chances of a misspelling, try just "Carex le".
Less is more: If "pencil flower" doesn't deliver the results you want, try "pencil".
Or try alternate spellings: If "wooly" doesn't work, try "woolly" or just "wool".