E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rhynchospora capillacea Torr.
brown beak-rush (needle beaksedge)
Cyperaceae (Sedge family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #67120)

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Distribution of Rhynchospora capillacea
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Species Information

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Perennial, tufted herb, sometimes forming mats; stems more or less solid, triangular in cross-section, 10-40 cm tall.
Sheaths closed; blades in-rolled, threadlike, 0.2-0.4 mm wide.
Inflorescence of 1 or 2, compact, axillary or terminal heads, the terminal head egg-shaped, the lateral ones remote, nearly unstalked, each head with 2 to 10, reddish-brown to dark brown, erect or ascending spikes, the axillary heads each with 1 to 4 spikes; involucral bracts longer than inflorescence, 1-2 cm long.
Scales translucent on the margins, spirally arranged within the spikes; perianth bristles 6, finely barbed backwards, surpassing the achenes; achenes often obscurely marked with dark horizontal lines, broadest above the middle, conspicuously narrowed towards the bases, 2.5-4.2 mm long, less than 1/2 as wide, capped by tubercles, 1/2 to nearly as long as the achenes.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Calcareous fens and shorelines in the montane zone; rare in SC BC, known only from the Salmon Arm area; E to NF and S to ME, MA, VA, AL, AR and TX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Rhynchospora capillacea var. leviseta E.J. Hill ex A. Gray
Rhynchospora smallii Britton

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References