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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

2. Carex L. -- Sedge

22. Carex gravida Bailey -- Heavy sedge


Tufted from stout rootstocks; culms erect or leaning, sharply trigonous, 3-11 dm long, roughened above. Leaves 3-8 mm wide; sheaths whitish and conspicuously septate-nodulose dorsally, white-hyaline ventrally, not cross-rugulose. Spikes bisexual, androgynous, single at each node, usually less than 10, in dense, ovoid to oblong heads 1-3.5 cm long; bracts usually inconspicuous, setaceous, seldom exceeding the head; pistillate scales green to brown, acuminate to cuspidate, shorter than the perigynia. Perigynia conspicuous in the head, not hidden by the scales, green and pale to yellowish-brown, shiny, plano-convex, ovate, 4-5 mm long, ca. 1/2 as wide, obscurely nerved dorsally, nerveless ventrally, contracted to the serrulate, bidentate beak which is ca. 1/3 the total length of the perigynium; achenes lenticular, 1.8-2.2 mm long, about as wide; stigmas 2, the style base enlarged. Jun--Jul. Wet meadows, stream banks, floodplains and prairie swales, but more often in moist woods and thickets; frequent; (Ont. to MT, s to OH, KY, TX and CO).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Carex granularis Muhl. ex Willd. -- Meadow sedge
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Carex gynocrates Wormskj. ex Drej.

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