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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin

SLOUGH SEDGE

(Carex atherodes Sprengel)


Perigynium
Slough sedge
Figure 17 - Perigynium

SEDGE FAMILY (Cyperaceae)

IND. STATUS: OBL

FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: Herbaceous perennial from long, coarse rhizomes. Triangular stems are stout, 3-15 dm. in height, growing singly or a 0 few together. Leaf sheaths are densely covered with fuzzy hairs (see photograph). Leaf blades are 4-10 mm. wide. Spikes number several with pistillate spikes 2-10 cm. long and 1 cm. wide. Staminate spikes are 2-6 cm. long. Perigynia are strongly ribbed, ribs numbering 12-20. Perigynia are 7-10 mm. long, with divergent teeth 1.5- 2.5(3) mm. long. Achene is more or less triangular in shape.

Slough sedge resembles lake sedge (C. lacustris); however, lake sedge leaf sheaths are smooth, not covered with fuzzy hairs, and the perigynia of lake sedge have two short teeth instead of the long, widely-spread teeth of slough sedge.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Slough sedge is common in sedge meadows, shallow marshes and lake shores, often found in shallow water. It is one of the most frequently encountered sedges of prairie potholes in southern and western Minnesota.

SOURCE: Voss (1972); and Gleason and Cronquist (1991).


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