Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea)
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-July.
- Field Marks: Fox sedge has elongated spikes containing 10 or more spikelets, the lowest of which is subtended by a slender, long bract.
- Habitat: Wet woods, swamps, wet prairies, along rivers and streams, around lakes and ponds.
- Habit: Perennial herb with thickened rootstocks.
- Stems: Erect, slender, sharply triangular, rough to the touch, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, narrow, longer than the stems, smooth, up to 1/6 inch broad.
- Flowers: Male and female borne separately; the male flowers at the tips of the female spikelets, with 10 or more female spikelets in a terminal spike up to 5 inches long; the lowermost spikelet subtended by a long, narrow bract.
- Scales: Lanceolate, usually tapering to an awn at the tip, smooth.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; each perigynium ovoid or suborbicular below, abruptly tapering to a slender beak about half the length of the perigynium, yellowish, without nerves.
- Fruits: Achenes flat, up to 1/16 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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