Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex aurea Nutt.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: The following combination of characters distinguishes this sedge:
stigmas 2, achenes lenticular, male spike usually separate from the female, scales tinged reddish brown, and height of plant not more than 15 inches.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, marshes, moist woods.
- Habit: Perennial herb with whitish, creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, slender, up to 15 inches tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, up to 1/6 inch wide, smooth, sometimes longer than the stem.
- Flowers: Male and female borne in separate spikes; male spike solitary, terminal, 1/4-3/4 inch long; female spikes 2-5, 1/4-3/4 inch long, the lowest one usually subtended by a leaf like bract longer than the inflorescence; scales half as long a
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium, the perigynium ellipsoid to nearly spherical, rounded and without a beak at the tip, up to 1/8 inch long, with or without nerves, golden or yellow brown when mature; stigmas 2.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular, up to 1/10 inch long.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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