Autumn Fimbristylis

Autumn_Fimbristylis_jpgThe rush family, Cyperaceae, includes eight genera and approximately three hundred species of grass-like plants.  In ancient times rushes were used to make roofs, writing instruments, bedding, caulking for ships and some were used to make arrows.  A more poetic use was for musical pipes. In the Middle Ages rushes were used to cover cold stone floors and were swept away when dirty. The genusFimbristylis is a compound of “fimbra” (a fringe) and “stylus” (pointed); meaning “fringed with hair”. The stems are tufted. The species autumnalis means “of the Autumn”.  Autumn Fimbristylis blooms in Autumn. The presence of rushes indicates damp soil or low meadows. The following rhythm may help distinguish rushes from the similar appearing sedges and grasses: Sedges have edges, Rushes are round, Grasses have joints from the tips to the ground. The stems of rushes are round, like a knitting needle.

OtherCommonName:

Slender Fimbristylis

ScientificName:

Fimbristylis autumnalis

Community:

Primary Dune

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Annual

PlantHeight:

to 8 inches

FruitingTime:

Early August to October

Distribution:

Maine and Minnesota to tropics ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Early August to October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Stems flattened, harsh edges, tufted ~ Leaves appendage at junction of leaf blade and sheath ~ Flowers spikelets, short, slender