The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Scleria microcarpa
Scleria microcarpa
(tropical nutrush)
Native Transplant
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Scleria microcarpa Nees ex Kunth

Common name: tropical nutrush

Synonyms and Other Names: Ophryoscleria microcarpa (Nees von Esenbeck ex Kunth) Nees von Esenbeck; Scleria foliosa C. Wright, in Sauvalle; Scleria microcarpa Nees von Esenbeck ex Kunth, var. foliosa C. B. Clarke; Scleria microcarpa Nees von Esenbeck ex Kunth, var. subeggersiana Kükenthal ex O. C. Schmmidt

Lamedera, Navajuelo (Dominican Republic)

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: According to Affonso et al. 2015:

Stems/Roots: Rhizomatous perennial herb, 0.5-1.5 m erect, with 1-3 mm wide culm (not the attached leaf blade) that is unbranched.

Leaves: Sheath around the culm is 2.5-4.5 cm long and winged. Ligules are absent. Blades are 5-20 cm long. Both sheath and blade are 0.5-1.0 cm wide.

Flowers: Terminal and axillary inflorescences contain perfect (bisexual) flowers.

Fruits/Seeds: Fruits are smooth, white achenes that are exposed.

Look-a-likes: Scleria lacustris C. Wright shares similar habitat with S. microcarpa, but has unexposed achenes and winged sheathes as wide as the culm.

Size: 0.5-1.5 m height; 2.5-4.5 cm wide leaves (Affonso et al. 2015)

Native Range: Caribbean (Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Trinadad and Tobago) and South America (Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela) (Orli et al. 2016).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Scleria microcarpa are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL201620182Florida Southeast Coast; Kissimmee

Table last updated 4/12/2021

† Populations may not be currently present.


Life history: Mature Scleria microcarpa flower and fruit throughout the year (Axelrod 2011)

Habitat: Scleria microcarpa are found in swamps and lake shores (FNAI 2018)

Community: Associated species include Taxodium sp. (Wunderlin et al. 2018)

Status: All populations established in the Kissimmee drainage, Florida

References: (click for full references)

Affonso, R., A. Zanin, N.A. Brummitt, and A.C. Araújo. 2015. Diversity of Scleria (Cyperaceae) in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Rodriguésia 66(2):353-367. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2175-7860201566206.

Axelrod, F.S. 2011. A systematic vademecum to the vascular plants of Puerto Rico. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Ft. Worth, TX.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). 2018. Scleria microcarpa. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL. http://fnai.org/Invasives/Scleria%20microcarpa.pdf.

Orli, S., R. Russell, M. Toner, and E. Gardner. 2016. United States National Herbarium (US). Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. http://botany.si.edu/.

Wunderlin, R.P., B.F. Hansen, A.R. Franck, and F.B. Essig. 2018. 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, FL. http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/.

Author: Pfingsten, I.A.

Revision Date: 3/11/2019

Citation Information:
Pfingsten, I.A., 2021, Scleria microcarpa Nees ex Kunth: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=3053, Revision Date: 3/11/2019, Access Date: 4/12/2021

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2021]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [4/12/2021].

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