Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Cyperus aristatus Rottb.
- Family: Sedge (Cyperaceae)
- Flowering: June-October
- Field Marks: This flatsedge is readily distinguished by its small stature and the slender tips of the scales of the spikelet which are distinctly curved outward.
- Habitat: Wet areas, particularly along streams and around lakes and ponds; also in
temporary water-filled depressions on sandstone bluffs.
- Habit: Tufted annual with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, slender, up to 6 inches tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Crowded near the base of the plant, elongated, very narrow, up to 1/6 inch wide, smooth.
- Flowers: Crowded into flat spikelets; spikelets several, crowded into densely rounded
clusters, the central cluster sessile, the other clusters, if present, on stalks; bracts much
surpassing the inflorescence; each spikelet flat, less than 1/2 inch long, with 8-16 flowers.
- Scales: Lanceolate, awn-tipped, with the tip strongly recurved, green to pale brown.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 1.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; style 3-parted.
- Fruits: Achenes triangular, smooth, obovoid to oblongoid, brown, about 1/20 inch long.
- Notes: The plants have the odor of slippery elm, particularly when dried. The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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