Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex baileyi Britt.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: The distinguishing characteristics of this sedge are the separate male and
female spikes, the beaked perigynia with the beak as long as or longer than the body, the
female spikes only 1/3-1/2 inch thick, and the narrow leaves up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Habitat: Wet woods, wet meadows.
- Habit: Tufted perennial herb with thickened rootstocks.
- Stems: Upright, usually unbranched, sharply 3-angled, smooth, up to 2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, rough to the touch, at least along the edges, up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, the spikelets congregated into spikes, the male spike separate from the
female ones but on the same plant, all subtended by leafy bracts, the male spike solitary, slender,
erect, up to 2 inches long, the female spikes 2-4, ascending, up to 1 3/4 inches long, 1/3-1/2 inch thick.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Borne in a perigynium, the perigynium with a nearly spherical body and a slender
beak as long as or longer than the body, smooth, conspicuously nerved, 1/4-1/3 inch long,
about 1/10 inch thick, each perigynium subtended by lanceolate scales shorter than the
perigynium; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, obovoid, up to 1/6 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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