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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

2. Carex L. -- Sedge

50. Carex stricta Lam.


Loosely tufted from long scaly rhizomes; culms trigonous, 3-10 dm long, exceeding the leaves, rough. Leaves green, 2-6 mm wide, the lower ones bladeless, merely sheathing the base of the culm; sheaths white to reddish-brown and hyaline ventrally, green dorsally, the lower ones breaking into ladderlike filaments; ligule at juncture of blade and sheath V-shaped and pointed, longer than wide. Spikes unisexual or mostly so, the upper 1-3 staminate, the terminal one 1.5-5 cm long, the lower 2-5 pistillate or some androgynous, 2-8 cm long; lowest bract leaflike, sheathless; pistillate scales obtuse to acuminate, about equaling to exceeding the perigynia in length but narrower. Perigynia green at the tip and margins, golden to tawny toward the middle and base, whitish-papillate from the tip to below the middle, eventually turning brown, biconvex to nearly flat, ovate to elliptic, 1.5-2.7 mm long, 1/2 to 3/5 as wide, 2-ribbed with few weak nerves on both sides; beak tubular, 0.2-0.3 mm long; achenes lenticular, 1.3-1.7 mm long; stigmas 2. Jun--Jul. Wet meadows, marshes, shores, stream banks, springs and fens; see note below on regional distribution; (NJ to Man., s to FL, TX and CO).

This species is probably not as common in this region as current distribution records (and the map) indicate because many collections identified as C. stricta in regional herbaria are actually C. emoryi. C. stricta in the narrower sense may well be restricted to the e part. Some authors lump C. emoryi with C. stricta recognizing it as C. stricta var. elongata (Boeckl.) Gl.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Section -- Carex stipata Muhl. ex Willd. -- Saw-beak sedge
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Carex sychnocephala Carey

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