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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. harfordii Mack.

(Group 9)
Leaf: blade generally 2–5 mm wide; basal sheath sometimes very long
Inflorescence dense, 11–35 mm, greenish or brown; spikelets ± indistinct; lowest spikelet bract leaf- or bristle-like, < to > inflorescence; pistillate flower bract pale green to reddish, acute to short-awned, < or ± covering perigynium
Fruit: perigynium ascending to spreading, 2.5–4.5 mm, 1.1–2 mm wide, ovate to elliptic, green to brown, margin green, body planoconvex, veined both sides, wall ± tough, flat margin including wing < 0.3 mm wide, beak tip cylindric and ± entire for > 0.4 mm, ± dark, 1.3–2.3 mm to fruit top; fruit 1.3–2 mm, 0.9–1.4 mm wide, filling 1/2–2/3 perigynium body
Ecology: Marshy soil
Elevation: < 600 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, Central Western California, Channel Islands
Synonyms: C. montereyensis Mack
Horticultural information: TRY; STBL.

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