Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex straminea Willd.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: The male flowers are borne at the base of the female spikes. The perigynia
are longer than the awn-tipped scales. The spikes are more or less rounded at the top.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, swamps.
- Habit: Densely tufted herb with thickened rootstocks.
- Stems: Upright, usually unbranched, smooth except at upper end, sharply triangular,
slender, up to 3 feet tall, longer than the leaves.
- Leaves: Elongated, mostly smooth, up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Flowers: Male and female borne in the same spike, the male flowers at the base; spikes 3-8,
more or less separated from each other, brown, nearly spherical, rounded at the top, up to
3/4 inch long, at least the lowermost subtended by a slender bract.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Borne in a perigynium, the perigynium broadly ovate to nearly round, abruptly
tapered to a short beak, distinctly nerved, 1/4-1/3 inch long; each perigynium subtended by
lanceolate, awn-tipped scales shorter than the perigynium; stigmas 2.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular, about 1/6 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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