Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex cephalophora Muhl. ex Willd.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its perigynia in spikes that are crowded to
form a single head. The male flowers are formed at the tip of each spikelet.
- Habitat: Dry woods, fields.
- Habit: Perennial herb from a short, knotty, brown rootstock.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, triangular, up to 1 1/2 feet tall, smooth or rough to the touch
near the head of spikes.
- Leaves: Several, elongated, flat, 1/12-1/6 inch wide, not hairy but with rough edges.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, with the male flowers crowded at the tip of each spikelet;
spikelets 3-7, crowded into a single head 1/3-1 inch long, subtended by thread-like bracts.
- Scales: Pale brown, ovate-lanceolate, rough-awned, 3/4 as long as to equalling the perigynia.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; each perigynium green to buff, 1/10-1/8 inch long,
flattened on one face, rounded on the other, lanceolate, broadest at or just below the middle,
with a minutely toothed beak; styles 2.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular, up to 1/16 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
Previous Species -- Hair-like Sedge (Carex capillaris)
Return to Species List -- Group 3
Next Species -- White-edge Sedge (Carex debilis)