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Dwarf Umbrella-sedge (Fuirena pumila)


Life history

Species overview

Dwarf Umbrella-sedge (Fuirena pumila), a State Endangered plant, is found in peaty-mucky and wet, sandy flats of fluctuating inland lakes. Blooming occurs early July through late August; fruiting occurs early August through late September. The optimal identification period for this species is late July through early September.

Synonyms: Fuirena squarrosa var. pumila, Fuirena torreyana

Identification

  • Distinguishing characteristics: Tufted annual; anthers 0.5 to 0.7 mm.
  • Flower characteristics: Inflorescence in 1 to many terminal clusters; spikelet 6 to 15 mm long; scales with awns.
  • Fruit characteristics: Achene 3-angled, brown to red-brown, 1 mm.
  • Leaf characteristics: Flat with hairy margins, up to 10 cm long.

Phenology

  • Blooming phenology: early July through late August
  • Fruiting phenology: early August through late September
  • Optimum time to identify: late July through early September

Other

  • Growth form: Graminoid
  • Vegetative reproduction: Rhizomatous
  • Life cycle: Annual
  • Comments: Associated Species: Rhexia virginica, Hemicarpha micrantha, Psilocarya scirpoides, Fimbristylis autumnalis, Dulichium arundinaceum, Scirpus smithii, Hypericum majus.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Dwarf Umbrella-sedge (Fuirena pumila). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.


Documented locations of Fuirena pumila in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of March 2012.

Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIY

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in peaty-mucky and wet, sandy flats of fluctuating inland lakes.
  • Soils: Moist to wet, usually sandy soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Dwarf Umbrella-sedge. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score
Coastal Plain Marsh 3
Inland Beach 3

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Dwarf Umbrella-sedge. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Dwarf Umbrella-sedge (Fuirena pumila) has very few known occurrences in the state and is of the highest priority for conservation; we encourage you to consult with your District Ecologist or NHI Botanist for specific recommendations for your site.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Minimize disturbance to hydrology, including soil disturbance from rutting.
  • Avoid disturbance to shorelines and the forest-beach interface.
  • Survey for and control invasive plants prior to conducting timber operations, as these can be spread by vehicles and often respond vigorously to increased light; see forestry BMPs for invasive species.

Photos


Dwarf Umbrella-sedge  [Photo #23941]

Photo ©  USDA-NRCS.


Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Monday, July 21, 2014
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition