Southern Umbrella-sedge (Fuirena scirpoidea)

Southern Umbrella-Sedge (Fuirena scirpoidea) is now blooming. This species is often found on marsh and pond edges throughout Florida.
Flowering. Photo © Shirley Denton.
F. scirpoidea was described in 1803 by botanist Andre Michaux1. It is vouchered for most counties in Florida and occurs throughout the southeast United States.

Flowering in East Osceola County March 2019. Photo © Loret Thatcher

The genus Fuirena was first described in 1773 by Christen Friis Rottbøll, a Danish botanist2. Fuirena is within the tribe Fuireneae which is in the Cyperoideae subfamily and finally within the Cyperaceae family. This means it's more closely related to the Saltmarsh Bulrush (Bolboschoenus robustus) than any other sedge in Florida3.
flowering in Pine Lily Preserve, Orange County, June 2015. Photo CC-BY-2.0 Mary Keim
flowering with Wingless Meadow Katydid (Odontoxiphidium apterum) Hal Scott Preserve and Regional Preserve, Orange Co., FL, April 2014. Photo CC-BY-2.0 Mary Keim

The FWC and UF/IFAS CAIP have a how-to video for identification. It does not appear to available in cultivation for use in a rain garden, bog, or wetlands restoration4.


[1] Michaux, A.M. 1803. Flora boreali-Americana. p.38. link
[2] Rottbøll, C.F. 1773. Descriptionum et Iconum Rariores. p.70. link
[3] Simpson, et al. 2007. Phylogeny of Cyperaceae Based on DNA Sequence Data - a New rbcL Analysis. Alisco 23, p. 72-83. link
[4] Plant Finder Database. 2019. Rush Fuirena (Fuirena scirpoidea). Florida Association of Native Nurseries. link

Further reading

Boughton, Betsy. 2008. Florida ranchlands - Areas of conservation value and opportunities for restoration. The Palmetto, Florida Native Plant Society. 25:4, p.12 link
Setters, Loret. 2019. SOUTHERN UMBRELLASEDGE (Fuirena scirpoidea). What Florida Native Plant is Blooming Today Blog. link
Bradford, J. and Rogers, G. Fuirena scirpoidea Michaux. Grasses and Sedges and Rushes of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida. link
Southern Umbrellasedge (Fuirena scirpoidea). iNaturalist link
Wunderlin, R. P., B. F. Hansen, A. R. Franck, and F. B. Essig. 2019. Atlas of Florida Plants ( [S. M. Landry and K. N. Campbell (application development), USF Water Institute.] Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa. link
Matson, Chris. 2009. Graminoids (Families Poaceae, Juncaceae and Cyperaceae). The Univeristy of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. link

by Valerie Anderson, staff | email


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