Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Longhair Sedge (Carex comosa)
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: July-August.
- Field Marks: This Carex is recognized by the male and female flowers in separate spikes, the perigynia less than 1/2 inch long and with a prominent beak with 2 teeth, and the lowermost perigynia in a spike pointing downward.
- Habitat: Swamps, around lakes.
- Habit: Perennial herb with slender rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, smooth, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Long, narrow, rough along the edges, up to 1/3 inch broad.
- Flowers: Many in spikelets, each flower subtended by a scale; the male flowers in separate spikes from the female flowers, only 1 male spike per stem, long and slender; the female spikes usually 2-6 per stem, up to 3 inches long, up to 1/3 inch across, on slender stalks that droop at maturity.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: One per scale, the scales with a slender, toothed awn, each perigynium lanceoloid, smooth, up to 1/4 inch long, with a slender beak with 2 teeth at the tip, the lowermost perigynia usually pointing downward; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular.
- Notes: The fruits are eaten by waterfowl.
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