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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Carex lacustris Willd.)

Lake sedge

SEDGE FAMILY (Cyperaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A stout perennial with triangular stems 5-12 dm. in height. Leaves are coarse, M-shaped, bluish-green, 1 m. or more long, and 8-15 mm. wide. Basal sheaths are reddened and have open, feather-like (pinnate) fibers. Pistillate spikelets number 2-4, are 2-10 cm. long, and are sessile or on short stalks. Staminate spikelets number 2-4. The perigynium is 5.5-7.3 mm. long, without hairs, distinctly ribbed, and gradually tapers into a beak. The nutlet is three-angled.

Pinnate fibers
Perigynium and Scale
Pinnate Fibers
Figure 16 - Perigynium and Scale

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Lake sedge is a very common sedge found in shallow marshes, shrub-carrs, alder thickets, wooded swamps, sedge meadows, and borders of lakes and streams. This persistent emergent forms scattered clones or beds.

SOURCE: Fernald (1970); Gleason and Cronquist (11991); and Voss (1972).

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