Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
53. Scheuchzeriaceae, the Scheuchzeria Family
1. Scheuchzeria L.
1. Scheuchzeria palustris L.
Rushlike, bog-dwelling perennial from creeping rhizomes, (1)2-4 dm tall. Leaves
alternate, 2-ranked, broadly sheathing at the base with a prominent ligule 2-10
mm long at the juncture of the sheath and blade, basal leaves 1-4 dm long, cauline
leaves reduced upward; leaf blades terete or nearly so, 1-3 mm wide,
with a small pore at the tip. Inflorescence a few- to several-flowered
raceme, with a few leaflike bracts in the lower portion; pedicels to
25 mm long. Flowers perfect, regular; tepals 6, in 2 series, greenish-white,
oblong, ca. 3 mm long, soft, eventually deciduous; stamens 6; carpels
3 (rarely to 6), free or nearly so to the base, stigmas subsessile. Fruit
a group of 3 (rarely 4, 5 or 6) spreading follicles, these 1- to 2(-several)-seeded,
inflated, 5-10 mm long; seeds black, ellipsoid, 4-5 mm long. Flowering
late May--Jun, fruiting Jul--Aug. Acid bogs, often in sphagnum or sedge mats;
rare, with one recent record from Bottineau Co., ND; (Circumboreal, s in N.Amer.
to NJ, IN, IA, ND, ID, and n CA).
American plants are designated var. americana Fern. on the basis
of their larger follicles and seeds.
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