Carex tuckermanii Dewey

Tuckerman'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

Tuckerman's sedge gets its name from Edward Tuckerman (1817-1886), a botanist and lichenologist who lived in Amherst, Massachusetts. Tuckerman was the first botanist to organize the huge genus of sedges (Carex) into natural groupings.

Habitat

Floodplain (river or stream floodplains), shores of rivers or lakes, swamps

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
stem leaf blade width
2–5 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 only staminate flowers
Perigynium hairs
the perigynium has no hairs
Perigynium length
7.5–12.5 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
    100–350 mm
    Length of scale
    the scale is shorter than the perigynium
    Lowest spike length
    20–50 mm
    Perigynium beak
    the perigynium has a beak
    Perigynium beak length
    2.4–4.8 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
    0.7–1.9 mm
    Perigynium color
    • green
    • tan
    • yellow
    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
    7.5–12.5 mm
    Perigynium nerve number
    7–12
    Perigynium nerve texture
    the nerves on the perigynium are raised, even after drying the perigynium
    Perigynium nerves lower side
    3–6
    Perigynium nerves upper side
    3–6
    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 elliptic (widest near the middle and tapering at both ends)
    Perigynium width
    4–7 mm
    Perigynium winged
    the perigynium has no wings
    Pollen- and seed-producing spikes
    some of the spikes produce perigynia
    Pollen-producing spike number
    1–3
    Scale awn
    The carpellate scale does not have an awn (it may have a short point)
    Scale awn texture
    NA
    Scale color
    • brown
    • green
    Scale length
    3.9–5.2 mm
    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 angled outwards, or arched over
    • the spikes are bent downwards or droop downwards
    • 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 a clear fold or dimple
    Achene length
    3–4 mm
    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 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 length to width ratio
    80–100
    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
    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 mm
    Lowest leaf sheath texture
    the leaf sheath feels smooth (it may have soft hairs)
    stem leaf blade width
    2–5 mm
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • river or stream floodplains
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • swamps
  • 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
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.

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

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Carex vesicaria:
achenes symmetrical, lacking an indentation, perigynia mostly narrower than 3.5 mm, and lowermost bract of inflorescence less than 3 times as long as inflorescence (vs. C. tuckermanii, with achenes asymmetrical and with an indentation on one of the surfaces, widest perigynia mostly 4.5-7 mm wide, and lowermost bract of inflorescence more than 3 times as long as the inflorescence).

Family

Cyperaceae

Genus

Carex

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

189.  Carex tuckermanii Dewey N

Tuckerman’s sedge. CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. Swamps, lake shores, river shores, and vernal pools.