Carex hirsutella Mackenzie

hirsute 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

Hirsute sedge is typically found on drier soils of forests and woodlands, and can be recognized by its conspicuously pubescent leaf blades and sheaths, smooth glabrous perigynia, and awnless carpellate scales. It is listed as endangered in New Hampshire.

Habitat

Forests, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • 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
  • the lowest spike on the plant is not borne on 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 has no hairs
Perigynium length
2–3 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
    1.3–2.2 mm
    Bumps on fruit
    there are no papillae on the perigynium surface
    Length of scale
    the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Lowest spike length
    8–18 mm
    Lowest spike stalk length
    At least 0 mm
    Lowest spike width
    3–5.5 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
    green
    Perigynium cross-section
    the perigynium is trigonous (triangular) in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium has no hairs
    Perigynium length
    2–3 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    9–18
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    4–9
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    4–9
    Perigynium orientation
    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 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
    1.1–1.6 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 does not have an awn (it may have a short point)
    Scale awn texture
    NA
    Scale color
    • brown
    • white or translucent
    Scale length
    1.8–2.5 mm
    Scale tip
    the carpellate scale tip is obtuse (has a blunt point)
    Spike on stalk
    • the lowest spike on the plant has a peduncle
    • the lowest spike on the plant is not borne on a peduncle
    Spike orientation
    • the spikes are angled outwards, or arched over
    • 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
    1.6–2.6 mm
    Achene width
    0.8–1.3 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
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • woodlands
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    20–90 cm
    Relative stem height
    the main stem is equal to or shorter 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

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
present
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)
Massachusetts
fairly widespread (S-rank: S4)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

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

Synonyms

  • Carex complanata Torr. & Hook. var. hirta (Willd.) Gleason
  • Carex hirsuta Willd.
  • Carex triceps, auct. non Michx.

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

158.  Carex hirsutella Mackenzie N

hirsute sedge. Carex complanata Torr. & Hook. var. hirta (Willd.) Gleason; C. hirsuta Willd.; 
 C. triceps, auct. non Michx. • CT, MA, ME, VT. Forests, forest openings, and woodlands, usually 
on dry-mesic to mesic, circumneutral substrate.