Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex microptera Mackenz.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This sedge has 3-10 spikelets crowded into a dense head. The male flowers are borne at the base of each spikelet, and the straw-colored, flattened perigynia usually have a brown-tipped beak.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, fens.
- Habit: Tufted perennial without creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, triangular, up to 2 feet tall, smooth or rough to the touch.
- Leaves: Narrow, elongated, up to 1/4 inch wide, without hairs, usually shorter than the stems.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately in the same spikelet, the male flowers at the base of the spikelet; spikelets 3-10, crowded into a dense head up to 1 inch long.
- Scales: Lanceolate, brownish, shorter than the perigynia.
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; each perigynium straw-colored, but usually with a brown tipped beak, lanceolate to ovate, 1/6-1/4 inch long, smooth, flattened; stigmas 2.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular, about 1/16 inch long.
- Notes: This species is distinguished with difficulty from C. festivella, C. ebenea, and C. haydeniana. The achenes are eaten by birds and small mammals.
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