Common Name: SEDGE FAMILY
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, often rhizomed or stoloned, often of wet open places; roots fibrous; monoecious, dioecious, or flowers bisexual. Stem: generally 3-sided, generally solid. Leaf: generally 3-ranked; base sheathing, sheath generally closed, ligule generally 0; blade (0 or) linear, parallel-veined. Inflorescence: spikelets generally arranged in head-, spike-, raceme-, or panicle-like inflorescences; flower generally sessile in axil of flower bract, enclosed in a sac-like structure (perigynium) or generally not. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, small, generally wind-pollinated; perianth 0 or generally bristle like; stamens generally 3, anthers attached at base, 4 chambered; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 2--3-branched. Fruit: achene, 2--3 sided.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 5000 species: especially temperate. Note: Difficult; taxa differ in technical characters of inflorescence, fruit. In Carex and Kobresia, what appear to be individual pistillate flowers in fact are highly reduced inflorescences (whether or not the same applies to staminate flowers is still under debate). In some other works (e.g., FNANM) these are called spikelets, and they are treated as being arranged in spikes. Here and in TJM (1993), what appear to be individual pistillate flowers are called pistillate flowers in Carex (and they are treated as being arranged in spikelets), but spikelets in Kobresia (and they are treated as being arranged into spikes). Though internally inconsistent, the approach here is consistent with traditional usage, and reflects a preference for character states that may be determined in the field. Molecular, morphological, and embryological evidence indicates that Eriophorum crinigerum is to be segregated to a new genus, as Calliscirpus criniger (A. Gray) C.N. Gilmour et al., along with a second, newly described species, Calliscirpus brachythrix C.N. Gilmour et al. (Gilmour et al. 2013); key to genera modified by Peter W. Ball to include Calliscirpus.
eFlora Treatment Author: S. Galen Smith, except as noted
Scientific Editor: S. Galen Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Common Name: TUBEROUS BULRUSHES
Habit: Perennial herb, erect, 50--200 cm, rhizomed, tubers durable. Stem: simple, sharply 3-angled, glabrous or angles scabrous, evident internal air cavities 0, not hollow. Leaf: basal and cauline, 3-ranked; sheath closed, long; ligule 0; blade generally present, long, thin, flat, V-shaped near base, keeled abaxially, margin, keel +- scabrous. Inflorescence: 1, terminal, panicle- (or head-) like, appearing with leaves; branches often scabrous; inflorescence bracts like leaf blades, main 1 > inflorescence; spikelets +- ovate, not +- flat, flower bracts spiraled, >= 25, each with 1 flower in axil, +- ovate, membranous to papery, puberulent (glabrous in age), brown to +- colorless, tip notched 0.5--1 mm, generally with curved awn often broken off. Flower: bisexual; perianth of 3--6 bristles, <= fruit, +- straight, stout, barbed; stamens 3, anthers >= 1.5 mm; style 1, thread-like, base not enlarged; stigmas 2--3. Fruit: generally obovate, smooth, brown, mucronate; wall cells small, solid or large, hollow (under dissecting microscope).
Species In Genus: 7--15 species: temperate, subtropics. Etymology: (Greek, bolbos, a bulb, and schoenos a rush, reed, in reference to the tubers) Note: Intermediates (putative hybrids) between species cause major problems in classification, identification.
Unabridged Note: Fruit wall anatomy (+- easily seen with a dissecting microscope in a hand-made section) including diagnostic characters that are correlated with fruit buoyancy and persistence of bristles on shed fruit. Putative interspecific hybridization causes major taxonomic confusion; putative hybrids generally occur with their parents, are intermediate between them in all characters, often bear apparently normal fruit that vary in shape within one spikelet, and form persistent clones.