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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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CYPERACEAE

SEDGE FAMILY

Raymond Cranfill, except as specified

Annual or perennial herb, often rhizomed, often of wet open places, generally monoecious; roots fibrous, hairy
Stem generally 3-sided
Leaves often 3-ranked; sheath generally closed; ligule generally 0; blade (0) various, parallel-veined
Inflorescence: spikelets variously clustered; flowers generally sessile in axil of flower bract
Flower small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or bristle-like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4-chambered; ovary superior, 1-chambered, 1-ovuled, style 2–3-branched
Fruit: achene, generally 3-sided
Genera in family: ± 110 genera, 3600 species: worldwide, especially temp
Reference: [Tucker 1987 J Arnold Arbor 68:361–445]
Difficult: taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence and fruit.

CAREX

SEDGE

Joy Mastrogiuseppe

Perennial, cespitose or from rhizomes, generally monoecious
Stem generally sharply 3-angled, generally solid
Leaves 3-ranked, generally glabrous except generally scabrous on midrib, margin; sheath closed, back (blade side of stem) green, ribbed, front generally thin, translucent, forming generally U-shaped mouth at top
Inflorescence: spikelets generally several–many, arrayed in raceme, panicle, or head-like cluster, each 1–many-flowered, generally subtended by a spikelet bract
Flowers unisexual, each subtended by 1 flower bract; perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens generally 3
Pistillate flower enclosed by perigynium (sac-like bract); perigynium body 2–3-sided or round, wall generally delicate; perigynium beak tip open, often notched; style 1, generally deciduous, stigmas 2–4, exserted
Fruit 2–4-sided
Etymology: (Latin: cutter, from sharp leaf and stem edges)
Reference: [Standley 1985 Syst Bot Monogr 7:1–106]
Fully mature perigynia needed for identification, so are described under "FR" (long-persistent perigynia are often atypical); perigynium "front" faces spikelet axis; "fruit" refers to achene body (excluding beak). "Shredding" lower leaf sheath fronts become a network or fringe of veins; some others shred longitudinally only. Difficult because of many species and minute key characters; longer key statements and descriptions are designed to enhance both ease and probability of correct identification. Group descriptions are assumed in specific descriptions
Horticultural information: Many species especially those with rhizomes are INVASIVE. This is one of the most effective genera for knitting moist or wet soil.

Native

C. densa (L.H. Bailey) L.H. Bailey

(Group 7) Cespitose
Leaf: blade 3–7 mm wide; sheath front generally cross-wrinkled, red-dotted or not
Inflorescence 1.5–8 cm, 0.8–1.5 cm wide; spikelets generally >> 10, > 1 per lower node or branch; spikelet bracts conspicuous; pistillate flower bract < perigynium, brown or red-brown, base sometimes white, lower awned or not, awns generally ciliate
Fruit: perigynium ascending to spreading, 2.5–4.5 mm (if < 3 mm, length < 2 X width), 1.3–2.1 mm wide, 0.7–1.1 mm thick, gold to brown, or green-margined, front veined or not, body ovate, with fruit below top, with indistinct or wide flat margin around fruit, lower wall generally filled with pithy tissue, beak 0.8–2.2 mm, conic, generally > 0.6 mm wide 0.2 mm above fruit, serrate or ciliate, tip reddish; fruit 1.3–1.9 mm, 1.1–1.6 mm wide
Ecology: At least seasonally wet places
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, San Gabriel Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Nevada
Synonyms: C. vicaria L.H. Bailey in part, C. breviligulata L.H. Bailey
Horticultural information: TRY.

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bioregional map for CAREX%20densa being generated
 
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