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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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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. garberi Fernald

(Group 6) Loosely cespitose
Leaf: blade 2–3 mm wide
Inflorescence: spikelets generally densely clustered except basal ones, terminal one generally pistillate at least at tip, staminate part 1.2–2.5 mm wide; lateral spikelets 10–25 mm, 3.5–4.5 mm wide, stalks erect, long, lower generally from near plant base; lowest spikelet bract sheath > 4.5 mm, mouth V-shaped; pistillate flower bract appressed against, often > fully expanded perigynium, generally widely obtuse, red-brown to purplish
Fruit: perigynia generally > 10 per spikelet, 1.9–3 mm, 1–1.5 mm wide, generally veined, green to pale orange or white, fleshy, papillate, stalk 0.4–0.6 mm, base tapered, body tip wide, blunt, beak 0–0.1 mm, tip often red-brown, unnotched; fruit 1.4–1.8 mm, 1–1.5 mm wide, beak < 0.1 mm
Ecology: Wet places
Elevation: < 100 m (much higher outside CA).
Bioregional distribution: North Coast (Marin, Humboldt cos.), San Francisco Bay Area (Santa Cruz Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, e N.America
Outside CA, perigynia sometimes finally become orange
Horticultural information: TRY; STBL.

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