Carex alata Torr. - Broad-winged Sedge


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Carex alata - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Ovales


Swamps, wet thickets, shores.




Mostly near the coast from MA to FL and TX, inland to NY, OH, southern Ontario, MI, IN, and MO.


Tufted perennial; stems 30-100 cm, aphyllopodic; main leaves 2-4 mm wide, shorter than the stems, the sheaths ventrally green-veined almost to the summit, with only a short hyaline area; spikes 4-8, gynaecandrous, silvery-green to silvery-brown, subglobose to ovoid, 8-13 mm, obtuse at the base with few staminate flowers, sessile and closely aggregated in an erect cluster 2-4 cm; pistillate scales shorter than the perigynia, ovate or lance-ovate, nearly hyaline with a slender green center, short-aristate; perigynia flat, 3.7-4.9 mm long and 2.8-3.5 mm wide, 1.25-1.7 times as long as wide, several-nerved on both faces, broadest near or slightly above the middle, broadly rounded to the narrow beak less than half as long as the obovate body; achene lenticular, 1.5-2 mm long and about 1 mm wide.


Fruiting June to July.

Wetland indicator: OBL

Differs from other Ovales in that the pistillate scales are narrower than the perigynia they subtend and shorter than the beak, and the broad membranous margins of the perigynia taper abruptly into the beak.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018