Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex intumescens Rudge
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: This species differs by its solitary male spike and its 1-3 nearly round female
spikes, each with 2-12 inflated perigynia 1/2-1 inch long and widest below the middle,
to a beak.
- Habitat: Moist woods, meadows, swampy woods, bogs.
- Habit: Tufted perennial herb from a thickened rootstock.
- Stems: Upright, rather slender, triangular, up to 3 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Elongated, dark green, up to 1/3 inch wide, usually somewhat rough along the
- Flowers: Borne in spikes, with usually 1 male spike and 1-3 female spikes; male spike
slender, long-stalked and extending above the female spikes; female spikes round, up to
1 1/2 inches across, with 2-12 perigynia; female scales lanceolate, awn-tipped or sometimes
merely rounded at the tip, about 1/2 as long as the perigynia.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Borne in perigynia, the perigynia inflated, ovoid, smooth, shiny, many-nerved,
1/2-1 inch long, tapering to a 2-toothed beak; styles 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, up to 1/4 inch long, with flat or concave sides.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by wildlife.
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