Carex bushii Mackenzie

Bush's sedge

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Bush's sedge is rare in New England. It is named after Benjamin Franklin Bush, 1858-1937, a grocer, postmaster and amateur botanist who lived in a small village near Kansas City, Missouri. He published books on ornithology and botany, and discovered many new plant species, including this sedge.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), floodplain (river or stream floodplains), meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
stem leaf blade width
1.5–4 mm
Lowest bract sheath
the lowest bract has no sheath (or a very short sheath up to four millimeters in length)
Spike on stalk
the lowest spike on the plant has a peduncle
Top spike
the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the staminate flowers located below the carpellate flowers
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium is hairy
Perigynium length
2.5–4 mm
Leaf sheath color
the leaf sheath is tinted pink, red or purple
Leaf blade texture
the leaf blade is hairy
Perigynium beak teeth
NA
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther length
    2–3 mm
    Bumps on fruit
    the perigynium surface has papillae on it
    Length of scale
    the scale is nearly as long as, or longer than, the perigynium
    Lowest spike length
    6–16 mm
    Lowest spike width
    4.5–11 mm
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has no beak, or an extremely short beak
    Perigynium beak length
    0 mm
    Perigynium beak orientation
    NA
    Perigynium beak serrations
    NA
    Perigynium beak teeth
    NA
    Perigynium beak teeth length
    0 mm
    Perigynium color
    • brown
    • green
    Perigynium cross-section
    the perigynium is relatively round in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium is hairy
    Perigynium length
    2.5–4 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    9–13
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    4–6
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    4–6
    Perigynium orientation
    the perigynia are angled outwards
    Perigynium puffy
    the perigynium is inflated (there is space between the perigynium and the achene)
    Perigynium shape
    • the perigynium body is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    • the perigynium body is orbicular (roughly circular, as wide as long)
    Perigynium width
    1.4–2.1 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike length
    0 mm
    Pollen-producing spike number
    0
    Pollen-producing spike peduncle length
    0 mm
    Pollen-producing spike width
    0 mm
    Scale awn
    the carpellate scale has an awn on it
    Scale awn texture
    the carpellate scale awn has tiny teeth
    Scale color
    • green
    • red-brown
    Scale length
    2.5–5 mm
    Scale tip
    the carpellate scale tip is acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    Spike on stalk
    the lowest spike on the plant has a peduncle
    Spike orientation
    the spikes are oriented vertically or pressed against the axis
    Spikes per stem
    2-15
    Staminate scale tip
    the staminate scale tip is acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    Stigma branching
    the stigmas have three branches
    Top spike
    the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the staminate flowers located below the carpellate flowers
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene dimples
    the achene has no folds or dimples
    Achene length
    2–2.6 mm
    Achene width
    1.1–1.7 mm
    Style persistence
    the style falls off the mature achenes
  • Growth form
    Rhizomes
    there are no rhizomes, or the rhizomes are very short
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    the leaves are all produced from the base of the plant
    Leaf blade cross-section
    The leaf blade is folded lengthwise, with one prominent midvien
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is hairy
    Leaf bumps
    the upper surface of the leaf blade does not have papillae
    Leaf sheath bumps
    there are no papillae at the top edge of the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath color
    the leaf sheath is tinted pink, red or purple
    Leaf sheath dots
    there are no dots on the leaf sheathes
    Leaf sheath folds
    there are no corrugations on the leaf sheath
    Leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels rough, or has hairs
    Lowest bract sheath
    the lowest bract has no sheath (or a very short sheath up to four millimeters in length)
    Lowest leaf blade width
    1.5–4 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    1.5–4 mm
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
    • river or stream floodplains
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    30–90 cm
    Relative stem height
    the main stem is taller than the leaves
    Stem cross-section
    the main stem is roughly triangular in cross-section
    Stem spacing
    the stems grow close together in compact clusters or tufts

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
uncommon (S-rank: S3), special concern (code: SC)
Maine
extirpated (S-rank: SX), potentially extirpated (code: PE)
Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
historical (S-rank: SH)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex hirsutella:
perigynia glabrous, smooth, bluntly triangular in cross-section, and carpellate scales awnless with a minute mucro (vs. C. bushii, with perigynia sparsely pubescent, papillose, nearly terete in cross-section, and carpellate scales with an awn 0.5-2 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Carex caroliniana Schwein. var. cuspidata (Dewey) Shinners

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

157.  Carex bushii Mackenzie NC

Bush’s sedge. Carex caroliniana Schwein. var. cuspidata (Dewey) Shinners • CT, MA, ME, 
 RI, VT. Mesic to dry-mesic, often sandy, fields, meadows, and open, human-disturbed areas, infrequently of seasonally saturated, lacustrine floodplains.