Herbs perennial, cespitose. Culms trigonous, (4-)14-45 cm × 1-2 mm, glabrous. Leaves yellow-green, flat, 18-44 cm × 3-4.5 mm. Inflorescences: spikes densely to loosely globose to ovoid, 10-20 mm wide; rays (3-)5-9(-14), 1-15(-26) cm; rachis 3-6(-9) mm; bracts (4-)6-9(-11), horizontal to ascending at 45°, flat, 1-30 cm × 0.5-4 mm; rachilla deciduous, wings persistent, 0.3-0.5(-0.8) mm wide. Spikelets (10-)30-50, oblong to lanceoloid, quadrangular to subterete, compressed, 4-8 × 1-1.3 mm; distal spikelet spreading or ascending; floral scales persistent, (1-)2-4(-6), appressed, whitish with red speckles, laterally 2-4-ribbed, ovate, 2.3-3.6 × 1.8-2.2 mm. Flowers: anthers 0.5 mm; styles 0.6-1.3 mm; stigmas 1.2-2.6 mm. Achenes reddish brown to nearly black, sessile, oblong, ellipsoid, 2-2.4 × 0.4-0.5(-0.7) mm, apex ± truncate-emarginate, apiculate, surfaces puncticulate. Fruiting summer-early fall. Disturbed, sunny areas, coastal rocks, moist thickets; 0-200 m; Ala., Ark., Del., Fla., Ga., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.J., N.C., Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America (Venezuela). Cyperus globulosus Aublet is a synonym of C. luzulae (Linnaeus) Rottbøll ex Retzius, which is a widespread neotropical species, and it has long been misapplied to Cyperus croceus (G. C. Tucker 1987).
Tufted perennial 2-6 dm; stems smooth, scarcely thickened at base; lvs flat, soft, 3-6 mm wide; bracts 4-10, the longest surpassing the infl; rays 3-8, to 10 cm; spikes subglobose, 8-15 mm; spikelets 3-6-fld, to 10 mm, radiating in all directions from the short axis, deciduous at maturity; scales ovate, acute, 2.5-3 נ1-1.5 mm, multinerved; rachilla broadly winged; achenes trigonous, 1.3-1.7 mm, half as thick. Dry soil; trop. Amer., n. mostly on the coastal plain to N.J. and in the interior to Mo. (C. echinatus and C. globulosus, both misapplied)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.