Carex sparganioides Muhl. ex Willd.
Family: Cyperaceae
bur-reed sedge,  more...
[Carex sparganioides var. lutea ]
Carex sparganioides image
Morton Arboretum  
Plants without conspicuous rhizomes. Culms 30-100 cm, 3-6 mm wide basally, 0.7-1.1 mm wide distally. Leaves: proximal sheaths loose, longitudinally green-and-white-striped, green-and-white-mottled, with prominent cross veins on backs, fronts hyaline and transversely rugose; ligules 3-8 mm, as long as wide; widest leaf blades 5-10 mm wide. Inflorescences with 6-15 spikes, 3-15 cm × 8-12 mm, occasionally compound and then somewhat larger; proximal internodes usually 20+ mm, more than 2 times as long as proximal spikes; proximal bracts to 2 cm; spikes with up to 50 ascending to spreading perigynia. Pistillate scales hyaline with green midvein, ovate to subcircular, 1.8-2.5 × 1.1-1.8 mm, body 1/2 length of perigynium, apex obtuse to acuminate or short-awned. Anthers 0.7-1.3 mm. Perigynia pale green, with wing 0.1-0.2 mm wide distally, veinless or weakly veined abaxially, 3.3-4.3 × 1.5-2.5 mm, margins serrulate distally; beak 0.8-1.2 mm, apical teeth 0.2-0.4 mm. Achenes suborbiculate, 1.7-2.2 × 1.5-1.8 mm. 2n = 46, 48. Fruiting late spring-early summer. Dry to moist deciduous and mixed forests, forest edges, on neutral or basic soils; 50-300 m; Ont., Que.; Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Pa., S.Dak., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Cespitose; stems 4-8 dm, usually rough above, equaling or surpassing the lvs; main lvs 4-10 mm wide, the sheath loose, ventrally pale and often thin, dorsally septate-nodulose and white with green veins or mottled; spikes androgynous, subglobose or ovoid; bracts none or setaceous, shorter than the heads; scales ovate, with broad hyaline margins, acute to cuspidate, barely if at all reaching the base of the beak of the subtended perigynium; perigynia planoconvex, green, ovate or lance-ovate, 3-4.5 mm, a third to two-thirds as wide, acuminate into a rough-margined beak a third to half as long as the body; achene lenticular, broadly ovate, the style-base very slightly thickened; 2n=46, 48. Dry woods and thickets, especially in calcareous regions; N.B. and Que. to Va., w. to Minn., S.D., and Okla. Three vars.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Very common in dry woods (usually sugar maple, beech or white oak), thickets, and along roadsides. One of the most abundant sedges in the state.