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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

6. Cyperus erythrorhizos Muhl. -- Red-rooted cyperus

Dwarf and tufted to tall and solitary annual 5-60 cm tall, the culms stout, erect to spreading; roots blood red when fresh, reddish when dried. Leaves shorter than to surpassing the culms, the blades 2-6 mm wide; involucral bracts better developed than the leaves, to 9 mm wide, usually much exceeding the inflorescence. Spikelets pinnately disposed on an elongate rachis to form several to many, rather compact, cylindrical spikes, one or a few spikes nearly sessile, with others on rays to 10 cm long; spikelets 2-8 mm long; scales overlapping in the spikelets, 1-1.5 mm long, 3- to 5-nerved in the green midstripe of the keel, the sides nerveless, pale to lustrous copper or auburn; rachilla persistent, bearing deciduous chaffy wings, the scales falling separately; stamens 3; styles trifid. Achenes ivory white to pale tan, unequally trigonous, ovoid, 0.6-0.8 mm long. Late Jul--Sep. Sandy or muddy shores and stream banks; frequent from se and sc ND to NE; (Widespread in temperate N.Amer., but rare in the Pacific Northwest).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Section -- Cyperus engelmannii Steud. -- Engelmann's cyperus
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Cyperus esculentus L. -- Yellow nut-sedge, chufa

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