Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family
2. Carex L. -- Sedge
55. Carex vesicaria L.
Tufted from stout rootstocks, lacking long rhizomes; culms sharply trigonous
and roughened below the head, 3-10 dm long, not spongy-thickened at the base.
Leaves not conspicuously septate-nodulose, 2-7 mm wide; ligule much longer
than wide; sheaths white-hyaline ventrally, not conspicuously septate-nodulose
dorsally, the lowest often breaking into ladderlike fibers. Spikes unisexual,
the upper 2-4 staminate, well above the pistillate, mostly 2-4 cm long; lower
1-3 spikes pistillate, separate, cylindric, 1.5-8 cm long, 4-15 mm thick,
sessile or short-peduncled, erect; lowest bract usually exceeding the
inflorescence; pistillate scales acute to awned, shorter than to as long
as the perigynia. Perigynia ascending and imbricate in 6-8 rows in the
spike, yellowish-green to brownish, dull, ovoid to globose-ovoid, inflated,
3.5-8 mm long, ca. 3 mm wide, strongly several- to many-nerved, abruptly contracted
or tapered to the slender beak 1-2 mm long, the stiff teeth 0.5-1 mm long; achenes
trigonous, ca. 2.5 mm long; stigmas 3, the style strongly S-curved toward
the base. Jun--Aug. Wet meadows, marshes and shores; rare, ne SD; (Circumboreal,
in N.Amer. from Newf. to B.C., s to DE, IN, MO, SD, NM and CA).
Previous Section -- Carex tribuloides Wahl.
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The
Next Section -- Carex viridula Michx.