Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex canescens L.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This sedge is recognized by the combination of male flowers at the base of the spikelets, the spikelets gray to silvery in color, and the absence of wings on the perigynia.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, swamps, particularly in the mountains.
- Habit: Tufted perennial with short rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, up to 2 feet tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Elongated, mostly near the base of the plant, rarely longer that the flowering stems, flat, up to 1/6 inch wide, sometimes bluish, smooth.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately but in the same spikelet, the male at the base of each spikelet; spikelets pale to silvery, 4-8 in a crowded cluster, each spikelet less than 1/2 inch long.
- Scales: Pale and often transparent except for the green midvein, not owned, shorter than the perigynia.
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; perigynium straw-colored to silvery, up to 1/8 inch long, not beaked, wingless, ellipsoid to elliptic-ovoid.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular, up to 1/16 inch long.
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