Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family
2. Carex L. -- Sedge
21. Carex granularis Muhl. ex Willd. -- Meadow sedge
Tufted from very short rhizomes; culms obtusely trigonous, 1-5 dm long.
Leaves often exceeding the culms, 3-13 mm wide; sheaths membranous
ventrally, septate-nodulose dorsally. Spikes unisexual, the terminal
one staminate, sessile or subsessile, the lateral ones pistillate, aggregated
around the staminate spike; bracts considerably overtopping the inflorescence,
short-sheathing; pistillate scales brownish, acuminate to cuspidate,
1/2 as long as the perigynia. Perigynia crowded in several rows, green
or olive to brownish, ellipsoid to obovoid, 2-2.5(4) mm long, 1/2 to 2/3 as
wide, 2-ribbed with more than 10 additional strong nerves; beak minute or obsolete,
entire to slightly bidentulate; achenes trigonous, 1.3-1.7 mm long; stigmas
3. Jun--early Jul. Wet meadows, stream banks, pond margins, springs and seepage
areas; frequent in e and c ND, ne and the Black Hills, SD, and c and e NE; (Que.
and ME to Sask., s to FL, LA and TX).
Most of plants in this region are var. haleana (Olney) Porter, with
perigynia narrowly ovoid or ellipsoid, 2-2.8 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide,
ascending in the spikes. This variety is most characteristic of open habitats.
The var. granularis has perigynia obovoid to subglobose, 2.5-4
mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide, spreading at maturity; occurring mostly in wet,
wooded habitats. Distinction of the two varieties is often difficult.
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