Carex stipata Muhl. ex Willd.

awl-fruited 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

The basal sheaths of awl-fruited sedge do not persist from year to year.

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
4–10 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 is not borne on 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
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium has no hairs
Perigynium length
4–5 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
    Bumps on fruit
    there are no papillae on the perigynium surface
    Inflorescence length
    50–150 mm
    Length of scale
    the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Lowest spike stalk length
    0 mm
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has a beak
    Perigynium beak length
    Up to 2.5 mm
    Perigynium beak orientation
    the beak of the perigynium is straight, and in line with the perigynium
    Perigynium beak serrations
    the perigynium beak has tiny serrations along the edges
    Perigynium beak teeth
    the perigynium beak is divided at the top into two teeth
    Perigynium color
    • brown
    • tan
    Perigynium cross-section
    the perigynium is planoconvex (flat on one surface and rounded on the other) in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium has no hairs
    Perigynium length
    4–5 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    22
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    15
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    7
    Perigynium orientation
    the perigynia are angled outwards
    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)
    • the perigynium body is ovate (egg-shaped)
    • the perigynium body is triangular, widest near the base
    Perigynium width
    2 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
    • the carpellate scale awn does not have teeth (it may or may not have hairs)
    Scale color
    white or translucent
    Scale tip
    • the carpellate scale tip is acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    • the carpellate scale tip is obtuse (has a blunt point)
    Spike on stalk
    the lowest spike on the plant is not borne on a peduncle
    Spike orientation
    the spikes are oriented vertically or pressed against the axis
    Spikes per stem
    more than 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
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene dimples
    the achene has no folds or dimples
    Achene length
    Up to 2 mm
    Achene width
    Up to 1.5 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 length to width ratio
    Up to 67
    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
    Leaf sheath dots
    there are no dots on the leaf sheathes
    Leaf sheath folds
    the leaf sheath has corrugations on it
    Leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth, and has no hairs
    Ligule length
    Up to 10 mm
    Lowest bract sheath
    the lowest bract has no sheath (or a very short sheath up to four millimeters in length)
    Lowest leaf blade width
    4–10 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    4–10 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
    Up to 120 cm
    Relative stem height
    the main stem is taller than the leaves
    Spike internode length
    Up to 10 mm
    Stem cross-section
    • the main stem has all three edges raised to narrow wing-like ridges
    • 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
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. stipata

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex laevivaginata:
leaf sheaths smooth on the surface opposite the leaf blades, thick, firm, yellow, and concave at the summit, and leaf blades minutely papillose on the adaxial surface (vs. C. stipata, with leaf sheaths corrugated on the surface opposite the leaf blade, thin, fragile, colorless, and convex at the summit, and leaf blades smooth on the adaxial surface).
Carex oklahomensis:
lowermost 2 or 3 leaves with highly reduced blades and leaf sheaths smooth on the surface opposite the leaf blade, prolonged above the junction with the leaf blade and forming a tube that surrounds the stem (vs. C. stipata, with the lowermost leaves usually with well-developed blades and leaf sheaths corrugated on the surface opposite the leaf blade, not prolonged above the junction with the leaf blade).

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

Notes on Subspecies and Varieties in New England

Our variety is Carex stipata Muhl. ex Willd. var. stipata.

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

195.  Carex stipata Muhl. ex Willd. var. stipata N

awl-fruited sedge. CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Marshes, ditches, wet meadows, openings in 
swamps, shorelines.