Scleria pauciflora
Few-flowered nut rush
Image of Scleria pauciflora

Photo by Bradford S. Slaughter 


Key Characteristics

Medium-sized nut-rush (70 cm) of sandy wetland borders; stem triangular, moderately hairy; inflorescence with only 1-2 spikelets; achenes bony-white and globose with a finely bumpy surface.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Clair11903
Van Buren11904
Distribution map for Scleria pauciflora

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Few-flowered nut-rush occurs in sandy soil on the edges of seasonally inundated intermittent wetlands and moist depressions.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Big bluestem, Indian grass, little bluestem, panic grass, beak-rush, yellow-eyed grass, haircap moss, autumn sedge, bracken fern, sweet fern, lance-leaved violet, hyssop hedge nettle, bushy aster, bog clubmoss, three-awned grass, winged sumac, false dandelion, poverty grass, field milkwort, orange-grass, rough blazing star, tall nut-rush, shrubby St John's-wort, pussytoes, old-field cinquefoil.


This species requires conservation of habitat and protection of the hydrology, including maintenance of cyclical drawdown regime and water table. Maintain moist, open habitat. It is also vulnerable to ORV impacts and dredging and filling activities. Where it occurs in prairie-like habitats, it may also benefit from prescribed burning.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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