Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex bella L.H. Bailey
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This Carex has the following distinctive features: achenes triangular stigmas 3, perigynium scarcely beaked spikes with female flowers at the top, male spikes at the bottom, and none of the spikes overlapping.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, along streams, moist woods, usually in the higher mountains.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fibrous roots but without rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, up to 2 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, up to 1/3 inch wide, smooth.
- Flowers: Crowded into spikelets, the spikelets up to 1 1/2 inches long, subtended by a bract without a sheath at its base; male flowers borne at the base of each spikelet; lower
spikelets tending to droop.
- Scales: Ovate, pointed at the tip, reddish brown to blackish brown with a transparent edge and a green mid-vein, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; each perigynium obovoid, up to 1/4 inch long, with a very short, terminal beak; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, up to nearly 1/4 inch long. smooth.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by birds and small mammals.
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