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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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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.

GIF- Species Photo/Drawing

Scheuchzeria palustris, inflorescence left, fruiting plant right.
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

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