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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

62. Cyperaceae, the Sedge Family

11. Scirpus L. -- Bulrush

4. Scirpus heterochaetus Chase -- Slender bulrush

Much like S. acutus in habit and general appearance; culms more slender, 1-2(2.3) m long. Leaves reduced mainly to 3-4 sheaths at the base of the culm, the upper sheaths with a blade to 6.5 cm long; principal involucral bract erect, 1-15 cm long. Inflorescence a rather open, lax panicle of up to 60 spikelets, usually much fewer; spikelets solitary (rarely paired) on the pedicels, 5-17 mm long, 3-6 mm thick; scales suffused with light brown to reddish-brown, 2.5-3.5 mm long, scarious, mucronate to aristate, with an awn to 2 mm long; perianth of 2-4 bristles, the 2 bristles on the angles of the achene usually the longest, sometimes exceeding the achene body; stamens 3; styles trifid. Achenes light green to dark grayish-brown, unequally trigonous, the ventral face broad and flat, achene body 2-2.5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, with a beak 0.2-0.8 mm long. Jun--mid Aug. In the same habitats as S. acutus, but only dominant where the water is fresh; occasional in the e and c parts, rare w and s; (Que. and MA to ND, s to VA, MO, n TX and intermittently w to WA and CA).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Section -- Scirpus fluviatilis (Torr.) A. Gray -- River bulrush
Return to Family -- Cyperaceae - The Sedge Family
Next Section -- Scirpus maritimus L. -- Prairie bulrush

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