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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

3. Cyperus L. -- Galingale, umbrella sedge

4. Cyperus diandrus Torr. -- Low cyperus


Tufted or solitary annual, the culms spreading to erect, 5-25 cm tall. Leaves shorter than to surpassing the culms, 1-3 mm wide; involucral bracts similar to the leaf blades, overtopping the inflorescence. Spikelets loosely arranged in a subdigitate to pinnate manner to form 1-6 rather open, subglobose spikes; rays to 6 cm long; spikelets 4-20 mm long; scales loosely overlapping, the achenes usually visible between them, 2-2.5 mm long, strongly pigmented with purplish-brown along the margins, especially toward the tip, the median portion of the sides of the scale scarious and depressed, the green keel containing the nerves; rachilla persistent, the scales falling separately; stamens 2; styles bifid, exserted ca. 2 mm, persistent, cleft nearly to the base. Achenes pale brown, lenticular, ellipsoid to narrowly ovoid, 1-1.2 mm long. Late Jul--Sep. Sandy or muddy shores and stream banks; rare in se ND and ne SD, occasional in the Sand Hills; (Que. and ME to se ND, s to VA, MO and KS).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Cyperus bipartitus Torr. -- Shining cyperus, brook cyperus
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Cyperus engelmannii Steud. -- Engelmann's cyperus

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