Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Carex rostrata J. Stokes
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This sedge has male and female flowers in separate spikes, densely crowded perigynia swollen at the base and conspicuously beaked at the tip, and stems usually spongy-inflated at the base.
- Habitat: Along streams, around lakes and ponds, wet meadows, swamps, from sea level to the mountains.
- Habit: Perennial herb from stout, elongated rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, triangular, up to 3 1/2 feet tall, smooth, usually spongy-inflated at the base.
- Leaves: Several, elongated, flat, up to 1/2 inch wide, not hairy, with evident cross-walls.
- Flowers: Borne in spikes, the male in 2-4 upper spikes, up to 3 inches long, the female in several lower, thicker spikes up to 4 inches long; scales pointed or awned at the tip, usually straw-colored, shorter than the perigynia.
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium; each perigynium pale brown, smooth, shiny, up to 1/6 inch long with a conspicuous beak about 1/4 the length, ovoid, broadly rounded below, with
8-16 conspicuous nerves; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, up to 1/10 inch long, with a persistent, twisted style.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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