Carex lurida Wahlenb.

sallow 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

Sallow sedge has achenes or spikelets that sometimes appear more yellowish or brownish than green. It is an abundant and sometimes weedy species.

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
4–13 mm
Lowest bract sheath
  • the lowest bract has a sheath longer than four millimeters
  • 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 only staminate flowers
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium has no hairs
Perigynium length
6–10.8 mm
Leaf sheath color
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 divided at the top into two teeth
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Bumps on fruit
    there are no papillae on the perigynium surface
    Inflorescence length
    27–180 mm
    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
    10–75 mm
    Lowest spike width
    12–22 mm
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has a beak
    Perigynium beak length
    2.5–5.9 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 divided at the top into two teeth
    Perigynium beak teeth length
    0.2–0.8 mm
    Perigynium color
    green
    Perigynium cross-section
    • the perigynium is relatively round in cross-section
    • the perigynium is trigonous (triangular) in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium has no hairs
    Perigynium length
    6–10.8 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    5–12
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    2–6
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    2–6
    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 elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the perigynium body is orbicular (roughly circular, as wide as long)
    Perigynium width
    1.8–4.2 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike length
    10–70 mm
    Pollen-producing spike number
    1
    Scale awn
    the carpellate scale has an awn on it
    Scale awn texture
    the carpellate scale awn has tiny teeth
    Scale color
    • brown
    • green
    Scale length
    3.4–11.2 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
    • the spikes are oriented vertically or pressed against the axis
    Spikes per stem
    2-15
    Staminate scale tip
    the staminate scale tip is acute (has a sharp point)
    Stigma branching
    the stigmas have three branches
    Top spike
    the uppermost spike contains only staminate flowers
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene dimples
    the achene has no folds or dimples
    Style persistence
    the style stays on 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 flat or M-shaped, with two prominent side-veins
    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
    • the upper surface of the leaf blade has papillae on it
    Leaf sheath bumps
    • the top edge of the leaf sheath has papillae on it
    • 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 smooth, and has no hairs
    Lowest bract sheath
    • the lowest bract has a sheath longer than four millimeters
    • the lowest bract has no sheath (or a very short sheath up to four millimeters in length)
    Lowest leaf blade width
    4–13 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    4–13 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
    15–110 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

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.

Massachusetts
widespread (S-rank: S5)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex baileyi:
fruiting spikes mostly 9-14 mm thick and widest leaf blades mostly 2.4-4 mm wide (vs. C. lurida, with fruiting spikes mostly 15-22 mm wide and widest leaf blades mostly 4.5-13 mm wide).
Carex schweinitzii

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

182.  Carex lurida Wahlenb. N

sallow sedge. CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Wet fields and meadows, shorelines, swamps, marshes, 
and ditches.

112×182. Carex lupulina × Carex lurida This rare sedge hybrid is known from CT, MA, ME, VT. It appears similar to 
 Carex lupulina but with smaller spikes, shorter than average perigynia (9.5–13 mm long vs. 11–19 mm long), and carpellate scales always with a prominent, scabrous awn.