Starrush whitetop
Rhynchospora colorata

Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also moist to wet wildflower gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.
Small to medium herbaceous wildflower.
About 6-12 inches in height; to 2 feet when in flower. Spreading from underground stems (rhizomes) and forming small open patches.
Growth Rate:
Southeastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; Bermuda, West Indies, Mexico and Central America. In the Monroe County Keys, apparently disjunct from Miami-Dade County to Bahia Honda, Big Pine Key and nearby islands.
Pinelands, marshes and wet prairies.
Wet to moist, periodically inundated freshwater or brackish soils.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
White bracts with green tips.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy inflorescence.
Flowering Season:
Inconspicuous achene.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed and divisions.
See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page. See a 2018 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog on how this sedge changes throughout the day in order to attract insect pollinators.

Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton