Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family
2. Carex L. -- Sedge
2. Carex aquatilis Wahl. -- Water sedge
Tufted in large or small clumps, with long slender rhizomes; culms slender,
erect, 2-10 dm long, exceeding the leaves, obtusely trigonous below to sharply
trigonous above, usually roughened below the head. Leaves glaucous, 2-7
mm wide, the lower ones with well-developed blades; sheaths septate-nodulose
dorsally, thin and usually ruptured ventrally, whitish or purplish-dotted. Spikes
3-5, the upper staminate, peduncled, the middle and lower ones pistillate or
often androgynous, 2-5 cm long; pistillate scales acute to acuminate.
Perigynia pale green to tawny, often marked or tinged with reddish-brown,
usually obovate, broadest near the apex but not inflated, 2-3 mm long; beak
minute, entire or oblique; achenes lenticular, ca. 1.5 mm long; stigmas
2. Jun--Aug. Wet meadows, marshes, shores, stream banks, springs, bogs and fens;
common in the n part, occasional s; (Circumboreal, in N.Amer. s to NJ, IN, IA,
KS, NM and CA).
Plants of this region belong to var. altior (Rydb.) Fern.
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