Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex raynoldsii Dewey
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by the solitary, rather thick, male spike and 2-5 upright female spikes, the red-brown to black scales, and the plump, green, ellipsoid perigynia with a minute beak.
- Habitat: Meadows, open slopes, particularly in the mountains.
- Habit: Tufted perennial herb with short, stout rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, triangular, up to 2 feet tall, not hairy.
- Leaves: Alternate, elongated, narrow, up to 1/3 inch wide, flat, not hairy.
- Flowers: Male and female borne in separate spikes; male spike solitary, terminal, up to 3/4 inch long, up to 1/4 inch thick; female spikes 2-5, all upright, sessile except for the lowermost, up to 1 inch long, up to 2/5 inch thick.
- Scales: Ovate, shorter and narrower than the perigynia, red-brown to black.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; perigynia ellipsoid, green, plump, up to 1/5 inch long, smooth, minutely beaked, with 2 conspicuous and several obscure nerves; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, up to 1/8 inch long, smooth.
- Notes: The leaf bases from the preceding year are often persistent at the base of the plant. At maturity, the green perigynia contrast markedly with the subtending red-brown to black scales. The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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