Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
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).
Previous Section -- Cyperus engelmannii Steud.
-- Engelmann's cyperus
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