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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.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


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Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
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