Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex nebrascensis Dewey
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: This sedge is recognized by its bluish leaves, its 1-2 terminal male spikes, 2 stigmas, and short-beaked perigynia with 5-10 veins on each face.
- Habitat: Swamps, wet meadows, around lakes and ponds.
- Habit: Perennial sedge from creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Stems upright, rather stout, triangular, up to 3 feet tall, smooth or somewhat
- Leaves: Alternate, elongated, shorter or longer than the stem, up to 1/2 inch wide, smooth or sometimes roughened along the edges, often bluish; sheaths yellow-brown.
- Flowers: Borne in spikes, the male flowers usually in separate spikes from the female
flowers, but on the same plant; male spikes 1 or 2, above the female spikes, narrowly
cylindrical, up to 2 inches long; female spikes 2-5, up to 3 inches long, the lowest spike
subtended by a leafy bract as long as or longer than the inflorescence.
- Scales: Lanceolate, pointed at the tip, longer or shorter than the perigynia, with a green or pale midvein.
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; each perigynium ellipsoid to obovoid, abruptly tapering to a very short, 2-cleft beak, straw-colored to brown, up to 1/5 inch long, with 5-10 veins on each face; styles 2.
- Fruits: Achenes lenticular, smooth, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Notes: The uppermost female spike sometimes has a few male flowers near its tip. This
sedge is sometimes an important forage species for livestock. The achenes are eaten by
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