Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Thinscale Sedge (Carex hyalinolepis)
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-July.
- Field Marks: This Carex differs from all others by its bluish color, the presence of 2-6 slender male spikes, and its 2-4 female spikes up to 4 inches long and up to 1 inch thick.
- Habitat: Swampy woods, wet roadside ditches, wet meadows, wet prairies, in sloughs.
- Habit: Stout, tufted perennial with extensive creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, up to 4 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Long, narrow, blue-green, up to 1/2 inch broad, sometimes with cross-veins.
- Flowers: One per spikelet, with many spikelets in a spike and both male and female spikes present. Male spikes 2-6, very slender, terminal, up to 2 1/2 inches long, Female spikes 2-4, erect or drooping, up to 4 inches long and up to 1 inch thick.
- Scales: One per flower, brown to purple-brown, shiny, slightly shorter or slightly longer than the perigynium, pointed at the tip.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Styles: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed by a sac-like perigynium; perigynium ovoid, 1/4-1/3 inch long, with conspicuous veins and a slender terminal beak with 2 short teeth, smooth.
- Fruits: Achenes enclosed by the perigynium, obovoid, 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes of this species are eaten by waterfowl. This sedge can withstand inundation for long periods of time.
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