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bashful bulrush, bashful clubsedge

bulrush, clubrush, deergrass

Habit Plants densely cespitose; rhizomes absent. Herbs, perennial, cespitose, rhizomatous or not.

trigonous, 10–40 cm, scabrous proximal to inflorescence.

trigonous or terete.


basal sheaths brown;

distal leaf sheaths concave at mouth;

blades 10–400 × 0.8–2 mm, equaling or exceeding culms at flowering and fruiting.

basal or subbasal;

sheaths bladeless or distal sheaths with blade to 5 mm, not fibrous;

ligules present;

blades obsolete or elongate, linear, less than 1 cm × 1 mm.


spikelets 3–8-flowered, 4.1–5.2 × 1.5–2.1 mm;

bracts equaling spikelets, 3.7–6 mm, apex awned, awn to 3 mm.


spikelets 1;

involucral bracts 1, suberect, scalelike, apex mucronate or awned.


scales orange-brown to dark brown, midribs excurrent, apex mucronate.

scales 3–9, spirally arranged, each subtending flower.


perianth bristles 3–6, brown, terete, nearly equaling achenes, scabrous;

anthers 1–1.5 mm.


perianth of 0–6 bristles, straight, shorter than to about 20 times as long as achene, smooth or scabrous;

stamens 3;

styles linear, 3-fid, base persistent.


compressed trigonous, 1.5–2 × 0.7–1.1 mm.

trigonous or plano-convex.

Trichophorum planifolium


Phenology Fruiting summer (Jun–Jul).
Habitat Mesic to dry hardwood forests, usually with oak component, often on hillsides
Elevation 50–900 m [200–3000 ft]

Species 9 (6 in the flora).

The appropriate name and typification for this genus have been debated widely. Arguments for conservation of Trichophorum Persoon in the sense used here, with the conserved type, T. alpinum (Linnaeus) Persoon, were presented (M. Salmenkallio and I. Kukkonen 1989), and the proposal was accepted in the Code. The proposal to segregate T. alpinum from the rest of Trichophorum, in the genus Eriophorella (J. Holub 1984), is based on characters that do not justify generic rank. In fact, K. Tan (1985) found that T. pumilum (Vahl) Schinz & Thellung could not be considered generically distinct from T. alpinum and created a combination for it within Eriophorella. The name Baeothryon Ehrhart ex A. Dietrich, previously considered to be a synonym of Trichophorum, has been shown to apply to a section of Eleocharis R. Brown (M. Salmenkallio and I. Kukkonen 1989; M. S. González-Elizondo and P. M. Peterson 1997).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

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North America; Circumpolar to circumboreal; Andean and tropical Southeast Asian mountains
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Parent taxa Cyperaceae > Trichophorum Cyperaceae
Sibling taxa
T. alpinum, T. cespitosum, T. clementis, T. clintonii, T. pumilum
Subordinate taxa
T. alpinum, T. cespitosum, T. clementis, T. clintonii, T. planifolium, T. pumilum
1.Culms terete, smooth.→ 2
1.Culms trigonous, angles scabrous.→ 4
2.Achenes sharply trigonous; bracts 3.5–7.7 mm, exceeding spikes, apex with awn usually 1 mm or more.T. clementis
2.Achenes compressed trigonous to plano-convex; bracts 1.6–4.5 mm, equaling or shorter than spikes, apex mucronate or awn less than 1 mm.→ 3
3.Plants loosely cespitose, long-rhizomatous, slender; bracts to 2.5 mm, apex mucronate; perianth bristles absent; anthers 0.8–1.5 mm.T. pumilum
3.Plants densely cespitose, not rhizomatous; bracts more than 3 mm, apex awned; perianth bristles 6; anthers 1.5–2.6 mm.T. cespitosum
4.Flowers usually 15 or more per spike; perianth bristles white, flattened, to 20 times longer than achenes, smooth.T. alpinum
4.Flowers fewer than 10 per spike; perianth bristles white to brown, terete, equaling or shorter than achenes, scabrous.→ 5
5.Scales with obtuse apex, midribs not reaching apices in distal scales; leaves equaling or shorter than culms, 0.5–0.8(–1) mm wide.T. clintonii
5.Scales (most or all) with mucronate apex, midribs excurrent; leaves equaling or exceeding culms, 0.8–2 mm wide.T. planifolium
Synonyms Isolepis planifolia, Baeothryon planifolium, Baeothryon verecundum, Eleocharis planifolia, Scirpus planifolius, Scirpus verecundus Eriophorella
Name authority (Sprengel) Palla: Oesterr. Bot. Z. 63: 402. (1913) Persoon: Syn. Pl. 1: 69. (1805)
Source Flora of North America vol. 23, p. 31. Flora of North America vol. 23, p. 28.
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