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This is a tiny, easily-overlooked, annual species of sedge that is found in North American, Central America, South America and Africa. In North America, it is found across the US, with some exceptions (AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI) and in Canada, where it is reported from British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec (USDA 2010). It is an emergent shoreline species. In BC, it has been found along sandy shorelines near Osoyoos (Douglas and Illingworth 1994) and on damp compacted, spring-wet, footpaths in back beach areas along Lake Okanagan where it occurs with awned Cyperus (Cyperus squarrosus).
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General: Annual, tufted herb from fibrous roots; stems slender, 2-20 cm tall.
Leaves: Blades about 0.5 mm wide, up to 10 cm long, resembling the stems.
Flowers: Spikes mostly 1 to 3 per stem, unstalked, egg-shaped, 2-6 mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide; involucral bracts 2, the inner one absent or shorter, half the length of the inflorescence, the outer one widely lanceolate, the body 0.8-1 cm long, the awn 0.1-0.2 cm long, appearing as a continuation of the stem.
Fruits: Scales firm, egg-shaped, 1-2 mm long, rather abruptly contracted to blunt short tips or short, stout awn tips up to about 0.5 mm long, achenes light brown, narrow, with convex faces, finely pitted, minutely and abruptly sharp-pointed, 0.5-0.7 mm long.
No species can be confused with Lipocarpha micrantha provided a microscope is used for identification purposes. Smith et al. (2002) indicate that L. micrantha is readily distinguished from C. squarrosus by the shape of the flower head: Cyperus flowers occur on two-sided spikes, while Lipocarpha flowers occur in a dense cone-shaped head. In the field, however, L. micrantha may be confused with Cyperus squarrosus, although flower head shape should make separation relatively easy.
Hemicarpha micrantha (Vahl) Pax Hemicarpha micrantha var. aritstula Hemicarpha micrantha var. minor (Schrad.) Friedland Scirpus micranthus Vahl Scirpus micranthus var. minor (Schrad. ex Roemer & J.A. Schultes) Boivin
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2022-06-24 7:22:52 PM
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