Carex michauxiana Boeckl.

Michaux'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

Michaux's sedge is a species of peat swamps and peaty shores. The yellowish green leaf blades have yellow-brown to brown sheaths, and the perigynia are long and lanceolate, 8.7 to 12.1 mm long by 1.3 to 2.1 mm wide. This species is endangered in Massachusetts.

Habitat

Bogs, fens, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
stem leaf blade width
1.6–4.2 mm
Lowest bract sheath
the lowest bract has a sheath longer than four millimeters
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
8.7–12.1 mm
Leaf sheath color
the leaf sheath has no pink, red or purple tinting
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
    Anther length
    1.1–2.7 mm
    Bumps on fruit
    there are no papillae on the perigynium surface
    Inflorescence length
    18–180 mm
    Length of scale
    the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Lowest spike length
    15–25 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
    the perigynium beak is divided at the top into two teeth
    Perigynium beak teeth length
    1 mm
    Perigynium color
    • green
    • tan
    Perigynium cross-section
    the perigynium is relatively round in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium has no hairs
    Perigynium length
    8.7–12.1 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    20–26
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    10–13
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    10–13
    Perigynium orientation
    • the perigynia are angled outwards
    • the perigynia are curved or bent downwards or backwards along the axis
    Perigynium puffy
    the achene is tightly enclosed by the perigynium
    Perigynium shape
    the perigynium body is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    Perigynium width
    1.3–2.1 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike length
    6–15 mm
    Pollen-producing spike number
    1
    Pollen-producing spike peduncle length
    At least 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
    • green
    • white or translucent
    Scale tip
    the carpellate scale tip is acute (has a sharp 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
    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
    Achene length
    2.2–3 mm
    Achene width
    1.2–1.7 mm
    Style persistence
    the style stays on the mature achenes
  • Growth form
    Rhizomes
    there are long rhizomes present
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    the leaves are all produced from the base of 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 has papillae on it
    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
    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
    Ligule length
    1.2–3 mm
    Lowest bract sheath
    the lowest bract has a sheath longer than four millimeters
    Lowest leaf blade width
    1.6–4.2 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    1.6–4.2 mm
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • bogs
    • fens
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    15–70 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
absent
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

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

Massachusetts
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
rare to uncommon (S-rank: S2S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex folliculata:
widest leaf blades mostly 6-18 mm wide and upper leaf sheaths convex at the summit (vs. C. michauxiana, with widest leaf blades mostly 1.6-3.5 mm wide and upper leaf sheaths concave at the summit).

Synonyms

  • Carex abacta Bailey

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

166.  Carex michauxiana Boeckl. N

Michaux’s sedge. Carex abacta Bailey • MA, ME, NH, VT. Peatlands, lakeside fens, peaty shores.