Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Little Green Sedge
Carex viridula Michx.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: The distinguishing field marks of this sedge are its single terminal male spike and 2-4 female spikes, the uppermost very crowded with the inflorescence surpassed by a long, leaf-like bract. The obovoid perigynium is prominently sho
- Habitat: Wet meadows, marshes, around ponds and lakes, even in sandy and salty areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, up to 18 inches tall, without hairs.
- Leaves: Elongated, mostly near the base of the plant, flat or channeled, up to 1/8 inch wide, without hairs.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne in separate spikes, the male spike solitary, terminal, 1/3-1 inch long, the female spikes 2-4, 1/4-1/2 inch long; all the upper spikes sessile or nearly so, the lower spikes sometimes on short, slender stal
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Enclosed in a perigynium, each perigynium obovoid, up to 1/6 inch long, tapering to a slender beak, prominently nerved, pale brown to straw-colored; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, up to 1/16 inch long, smooth.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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