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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

2. Carex L. -- Sedge

12. Carex capillaris L.


Densely tufted; culms slender, trigonous, 1.5-4 dm long. Leaves mainly basal, much shorter than the culms, 0.7-2.5 mm wide; sheaths tight, truncate at the summit. Spikes unisexual; terminal spike staminate, 4-8 mm long; lateral spikes 1-4, remote, loosely flowered, short-cylindric, 5-15 mm long, borne on filiform, spreading to drooping peduncles 5-15 mm long; bract subtending the lowest pistillate spike with a well-developed sheath to 25 mm long; scales white-hyaline marginally, greenish or light brown in the middle, obtuse or acute, shorter but often wider than the perigynium, deciduous. Perigynia shiny brown to olive-green, nearly terete, ovoid-ellipsoid, 2.2-3.5 mm long, 2-ribbed, otherwise nerveless, tapered to an obliquely cut, hyaline-tipped beak ca. 0.5 mm or more long; achenes trigonous with concave sides, 1.2-1.5 mm long, jointed to the style; stigmas 3. Jun--Jul. Boggy places and swamps, usually where wooded; rare, with records from the Turtle Mts., ND, and the Black Hills, SD; (Circumboreal, in N.Amer. s to NY, MI, MN, SD, NM, UT, NV and OR).

The phase of C. capillaris in this region is var. elongata Olney.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Carex canescens L.
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Carex chordorrhiza Ehrh. ex L.f.

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