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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Carex lasiocarpa Ehrh.)

Wiregrass sedge
Figure 34 - Perigynium

SEDGE FAMILY (Cyperaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A clone-forming, smooth, perennial herb with triangular stems growing to 1 m. in height. The very slender (not over 2 mm. wide), wiry leaves are characteristically C-shaped in cross section or inrolled, and taper to very slender tips. The 1 to 3 pistillate spikelets are sessile, or nearly so, and are 1-3 cm. long. The 1 to 3 staminate spikelets are 2-6 cm. long. The perigynia are 3-4.5 mm. long and densely fuzzy with an oblong-oval shape, and sharp teeth not over 0.5 (0.7) mm. long.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Wiregrass sedge is found in bogs, calcareous fens, shrub- carrs, sedge meadows, and shallow marshes; frequently in shallow water. The well developed, air-filled root and rhizome system produced by this sedge makes it one of the floating mat-forming species that create the first stage in bog succession.

SOURCE: Fernald (1970); Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Voss (1972).

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