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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

5. Cyperus engelmannii Steud. -- Engelmann's cyperus


Dwarf and tufted to tall and solitary annual 5-60 cm tall, the culms usually stout and erect. Leaves usually not surpassing the culms, the blades 1-4 mm wide; involucral bracts often much better developed than the leaves, to 8 mm wide, usually much exceeding the inflorescence. Spikelets pinnately disposed on a more or less elongate rachis to form several rather open cylindrical spikes; rays 1-6 cm long; spikelets 8-20 mm long; scales not overlapping in the spikelets, the tip of each not reaching the base of the scale directly above it (on the same side of the rachilla), 2-2.5 mm long, golden brown to brown, finely several-nerved toward the middle of the back; rachilla winged, clasping the achenes, disarticulating between the scales and falling in 1-fruited segments at maturity; stamens 3; styles trifid. Achenes brown, trigonous, linear-oblong, 1-1.5 mm long. Late Jul--Sep. Sandy or muddy shores and stream banks; locally common in ne SD and the n Sand Hills, otherwise rare; (MA to ND, s to VA and MO; widespread in tropical and warm temperate regions of the New World).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Cyperus diandrus Torr. -- Low cyperus
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Cyperus erythrorhizos Muhl. -- Red-rooted cyperus

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