Carex trichocarpa Muhl. ex Willd.

hairy-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

Hairy-fruited sedge is a large wetland sedge, usually of high-pH areas. Rare through most of its range, it is listed in each of the New England states where it occurs. The leaf blades are glabrous but the perigynia are hairy and terminated by two long teeth.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), floodplain (river or stream floodplains), marshes, meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
stem leaf blade width
2.5–8.8 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 staminate flowers located below the carpellate flowers
  • the uppermost spike contains only staminate flowers
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium is hairy
Perigynium length
5.3–11.5 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
    130–600 mm
    Length of scale
    the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has a beak
    Perigynium beak length
    2.1–4.4 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
    1–2.8 mm
    Perigynium color
    • orange to orange-brown
    • tan
    Perigynium cross-section
    the perigynium is relatively round in cross-section
    Perigynium hairs
    the perigynium is hairy
    Perigynium length
    5.3–11.5 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    12–22
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    6–11
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    6–11
    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 ovate (egg-shaped)
    Perigynium width
    1.7–3.9 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike number
    1–8
    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 tip
    • the carpellate scale tip is acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    • 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
    Staminate scale tip
    • the staminate scale tip is acuminate (tapered to a narrow point)
    • the staminate scale tip is acute (has a sharp point)
    • the staminate scale tip is obtuse (has a blunt 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
    • 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 long rhizomes present
  • 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
    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 smooth, and has no hairs
    Ligule length
    3–12.5 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
    2.5–8.8 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    2.5–8.8 mm
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • marshes
    • meadows or fields
    • river or stream floodplains
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Plant height
    40–120 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
absent
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.

Connecticut
uncommon (S-rank: S3), special concern (code: SC)
Massachusetts
rare to uncommon (S-rank: S2S3), special concern (code: SC)
New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex hirta:
leaf sheaths and blades pubescent and staminate and often carpellate scales pubescent (vs. C. trichocarpa, with leaf sheaths and blades glabrous and floral scales glabrous).
Carex atherodes:
perigynia glabrous and leaf blades minutely papillose on the abaxial surface (vs. C. trichocarpa, with perigynia pubescent and leaf blades not minutely papillose).

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

20.  Carex trichocarpa Muhl. ex Willd. NC

hairy-fruited sedge. CT, MA, NH, VT. Wet meadows, ditches, lake shores, riverside marshes 
and fields, usually in high-pH bedrock regions.