Mostly annual sedges, with slender erect culms, leafy below, the leaves narrowly linear or filiform, with ciliate or pubescent sheaths. Spikelets umbellate, capitate or solitary, subtended by a 1-several-leaved involucre, their scales spirally imbricated all around, mostly deciduous. Flowers perfect. Perianth none. Stamens 2 or 3. Style 2-3-cleft, glabrous, its base much swollen and persistent as a tubercle on the achene as in Eleocharis. Achene 3-angled, turgid or lenticular. [Greek, referring to the narrow leaves.]

A genus of some 90 species, natives of temperate and warm regions. Besides the following, 6 others occur in the southern United States. Type species: Scirpus stenophyllus Ell.

4 Stenophyllus Raf Neog 4 1825 783

1. Stenophyllus Capillaris (L.) Britton. Hair-Like Stenophyllus

Fig. 783

Scirpus capillaris L. Sp. PI. 49. 1753. Fimbristylis capillaris A. Gray, Man. 530. 1848. Stenophyllus capillaris Britton, Bull. Torr. Club 21: 30. 1894.

Annual, roots fibrous, culms filiform, densely tufted, erect, grooved, smooth, 2'-10' tall. Leaves filiform, roughish, much shorter than the culm, their sheaths more or less pubescent with long hairs; involucral leaves 1-3, setaceous, shorter than, or one of them exceeding the inflorescence; spikelets narrowly oblong, somewhat 4-sided, 2 1/2"-4" long, less than 1" thick, several in a terminal simple or compound, sometimes capitate, umbel, or in depauperate forms solitary; scales oblong, obtuse or emar-ginate, puberulent, dark brown with a green keel; stamens 2; style 3-cleft; achene yellow-brown, narrowed at the base, very obtuse or truncate at the summit, i" long, 3-angled, transversely wrinkled; tubercle minute, depressed.

In dry or moist soil, Maine to southern Ontario, Minnesota, Florida, Texas, California and tropical America. July-Sept.