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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

2. Carex L. -- Sedge

43. Carex retrorsa Schwein.


Densely tufted from short rootstocks; culms obtusely trigonous, 2-10 dm long. Leaves soft, 4-10 mm wide; sheaths green or yellow-tinged and conspicuously septate-nodulose dorsally, yellowish-brown and hyaline ventrally. Spikes unisexual, the upper 1-4 staminate, the terminal one largest, 1.5-5 cm long, just above or protruding from the cluster of pistillate spikes; lower spikes pistillate, sessile and aggregate or the lower 1 or 2 separate and peduncled, cylindric, 1.5-6 cm long, 12-20 mm thick; bracts leaflike, several to many times longer than the inflorescence; pistillate scales obtuse to acuminate, much shorter than the perigynia. Perigynia widely spreading to reflexed, yellow-green to green, shiny, subterete, ovoid, inflated, 5-10 mm long, 1/3 to 1/2 as wide, coarsely 7- to 9-nerved, tapering or contracted to a smooth or serrulate beak 2-3.5 mm long, the teeth 0.5-1 mm long, straight; achenes trigonous, 2-3 mm long; stigmas 3, the style strongly S-curved toward the base. Jun--Aug. Swamps, bogs, springs, wet meadows, shores, stream banks and wet woods; frequent from e and c ND to e SD, also the Black Hills; (Que. and N.S. to B.C., s to NJ, IN, IA, SD and OR).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Carex pseudo-cyperus L.
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
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