Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex stricta Lam.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: The spikes of this sedge are stiffly erect. The plants grow in very dense
clumps with the flowering stems longer than the leaves. The lowest sheaths on the stem
become shredded into fibers.
- Habitat: Low woods, swamps.
- Habit: Densely clumped perennial herb from relatively few horizontal stolons.
- Stems: Upright, numerous, slender but stiff, triangular, up to 4 feet tall, rough at least
above, the lowest sheaths becoming shredded into fibers.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat or somewhat folded, rough along the edges, up to 1/4 inch wide,
shorter than the flowering stems.
- Flowers: Borne in spikes, with one male spike separate from the 1-4 female spikes; male
spike cylindrical, up to 4 inches long, short-stalked, sometimes with 1-2 small, sessile, male
spikes near base; female spikes cylindrical, up to 5 inches long, upright, sometimes with a few
male flowers at the tip; female scales oblong to lanceolate, rounded or pointed at the tip,
reddish brown with a pale midnerve, shorter to slightly longer than the perigynia.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Borne in perigynia, the perigynia biconvex, ovate to elliptic, appressed, up to
1/8 inch long, few-nerved, with a minute beak; styles 2.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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