Carex crinita Lam.

fringed sedge

Copyright: various copyright holders. To reuse an image, please click it to see who you will need to contact.

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Found this plant? Take a photo and post a sighting.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

enlarge

Facts About

Fringed sedge is used as a garden ornamental, and clusters of this sedge have a fountain-like appearance.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), marshes, meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
stem leaf blade width
3.3–14 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 carpellate flowers located below, or intermixed with, the staminate flowers
  • the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the staminate flowers located below the carpellate flowers
  • the uppermost spike contains only staminate flowers
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium has no hairs
Perigynium length
1.8–3.9 mm
Leaf sheath color
  • the leaf sheath has no pink, red or purple tinting
  • the leaf sheath is tinted pink, red or purple
Leaf blade texture
the leaf blade is smooth and hairless, or rough and sandpapery
Perigynium beak teeth
the perigynium beak is not divided at the tip into two teeth, or the teeth are very tiny
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bumps on fruit
    • the perigynium surface has papillae on it
    • there are no papillae on the perigynium surface
    Length of scale
    • the scale is nearly as long as, or longer than, the perigynium
    • the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Lowest spike length
    34–120 mm
    Lowest spike stalk length
    5–68 mm
    Lowest spike width
    3.3–7 mm
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has no beak, or an extremely short beak
    Perigynium beak length
    0.1–0.5 mm
    Perigynium beak orientation
    the beak of the perigynium is straight, and in line with the perigynium
    Perigynium beak serrations
    the perigynium beak has no serrations
    Perigynium beak teeth
    the perigynium beak is not divided at the tip into two teeth, or the teeth are very tiny
    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 has no hairs
    Perigynium length
    1.8–3.9 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    At least 0
    Perigynium nerve texture
    NA
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    At least 0
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    At least 0
    Perigynium orientation
    • the perigynia are angled outwards
    • the perigynia are oriented vertically or pressed against the axis or adjacent perigynia
    Perigynium puffy
    the perigynium is inflated (there is space between the perigynium and the achene)
    Perigynium shape
    • the perigynium body is elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the perigynium body is obovate (egg-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Perigynium width
    1.2–2.8 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike length
    40–90 mm
    Pollen-producing spike number
    1–3
    Scale awn
    the carpellate scale has an awn on it
    Scale awn texture
    • the carpellate scale awn does not have teeth (it may or may not have hairs)
    • the carpellate scale awn has tiny teeth
    Scale color
    • red-brown
    • tan
    Scale length
    At least 3.4 mm
    Scale tip
    the carpellate scale tip is rounded to retuse (blunt or rounded, with a notch at the tip)
    Spike on stalk
    the lowest spike on the plant has a peduncle
    Spike orientation
    the spikes are bent downwards or droop downwards
    Spikes per stem
    2-15
    Stigma branching
    the stigmas have two branches
    Top spike
    • the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the carpellate flowers located below, or intermixed with, the staminate flowers
    • the uppermost spike contains both staminate and carpellate flowers, with the staminate flowers located below the carpellate flowers
    • the uppermost spike contains only staminate flowers
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene dimples
    • the achene has a clear fold or dimple
    • the achene has no folds or dimples
    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 mostly produced higher up on the plant
    Leaf blade cross-section
    • The leaf blade is folded lengthwise, with one prominent midvien
    • the leaf blade is flat or M-shaped, with two prominent side-veins
    Leaf blade length to width ratio
    36–42
    Leaf blade texture
    the leaf blade is smooth and hairless, or rough and sandpapery
    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 has no pink, red or purple tinting
    • 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 smooth, and has no 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
    3.3–14 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    3.3–14 mm
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • marshes
    • meadows or fields
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • swamps
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    40–150 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 only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Maine
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. brevicrinis

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. crinita

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex mitchelliana:
lower leaf sheaths scabrous due to minute, stiff hairs and perigynia densely papillose (vs. C. crinita, with the lower leaf sheaths smooth and perigynia smooth to weakly papillose).
Carex gynandra:
lower leaf sheaths scabrous due to minute, stiff hairs and scales subtending perigynia tapering to the apex of the scale body (vs. C. crinita, with the lower leaf sheaths smooth and scales subtending perigynia truncate or notched at the apex of the scale body).

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Carex crinita var. crinita Lam. is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. C. crinita var. brevicrinis Fern. is known from MA, and is of regional conservation concern.

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

132.  Carex crinita Lam. NC

fringed sedge. 132a. Carex porteri Olney • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Marshes, open swamps, shorelines, wet fields, and ditches. Carex crinata var. porteri (Olney) Fern. is a poorly known taxon from ME. Material of this variety was unavailable for study during preparation of this manual. Its identity is unresolved.

1a.  Achenes lacking a constriction or indentation; perigynia broad-obovoid 
 … 132a. C. crinita var. brevicrinis Fern.

1b.  Achenes with a constriction or indentation on one or both margins; perigynia ellipsoid to obovoid … 132b. C. crinita var. crinita

Variety crinita is known from CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Variety brevicrinis is known from MA and is of regional conservation concern. It is more rare than previously believed as most of the syntypes cited in the original description are not this variety.

132b×142.  This very rare sedge hybrid is known from NH. It has arching spikes, the lowest one on peduncles 11–31 mm long, basal carpellate flowers subtended by a 
short-awned scale (awns as long as 2.5 mm and scabrous), the apex of some scales truncate to obscurely retuse, and lower leaf sheaths smooth or sparsely scabrous.