This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Scleria pauciflora Muhl.; Willd. Sp. PI. 4: 318. 1805.
Rootstocks thick, hard, clustered; culms slender, rather stiff, erect, usually tufted, glabrous or sparingly pubescent, 3-angled, 9'-20 tall. Leaves very narrowly linear, erect, less than 1" wide, the lower short, the upper elongated and often overtopping the culm, their sheaths often densely pu-berulent; spikelets in a small terminal cluster and sometimes also in 1 or 2 axillary short-stalked ones; bracts ciliate or glabrous; achene oblong or globular, 1/2" in diameter or rather more, crusta-ceous, papillose, the lower papillae elongated and reflexed; hypogynium a narrow obtusely triangular border supporting 6 small, distinct tubercles somewhat approximate in pairs, sometimes with 3 additional smaller intermediate ones.
S. ciliata Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 2: 167. 1803.
S pauciflora Elliottii Wood, Bot. & Fl. 368. 1871.
Rootstocks rather stout, clustered; culms stout to slender, 30 long or less, 3-angled, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves ¥'-3" wide, glabrous or pubescent; spikelets in a terminal cluster and often in 2 or 3 stalked lateral ones; bracts ciliate; scales ciliate or glabrous; achene subglobose or globose-ovoid, about 1 1/2" in diameter, roughened by unequal papillae or short ridges; hypogynium an obtusely 3-angled border supporting 3 entire, 2-notched or 2-lobed tubercles.
Pine barrens and meadows, Virginia to Missouri, Florida and Texas. Also in Cuba and Santo Domingo. Consists of several races, differing in pubescence and in the form of the tubercles.
Annual, roots fibrous; culms very slender or filiform, 3-angled, smooth or nearly so, erect, 4-20 tall. Leaves very narrowly linear, i"-¥' wide, erect, shorter than the culm, the lower very short; sheaths sometimes pubescent; spikelets in several separated clusters, the inflorescence simple or sparingly branched; bracts bristle-like; scales glabrous; achene globose, 1/2" in diameter, crusta-ceous, usually tipped with the base of the style, marked by sharp distinct transverse ridges, or somewhat reticulated by additional longitudinal ridges; hypogynium none.
In moist meadows, eastern Massachusetts to Ontario, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Texas, Mexico. Bahamas and Cuba. Plant, especially the roots, fragrant in drying. July-Sept.