Carex atlantica L.H. Bailey -  Atlantic Star Sedge


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Carex atlantica - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Stellulatae (Star Sedges)


    cespitose habit, gynaecandrous spikes

    perigynia planoconvex to biconvex in section with spongy bases, spreading to reflexed, the beak bidentate     


Bogs, swamps, moist acid sands.




Nova Scotia south to FL, west to MI, IL, MO, AR, and TX.


Plants monoecious, growing in dense tufts (cespitose); spikes 3-6, sessile, lateral spikes pistillate, terminal spike gynaecandrous (with staminate flowers below the pistillate); perigynia longer than wide, to 3.8 mm long, brown at maturity, several-nerved, more or less cuneate to concavely tapered to the sparsely serrulate, sharply bidentate beak; stigmas 2; achene lenticular.


Fruiting May to July

Wetland indicator: OBL

The typical form, shown here, has leaves more than 1.6 mm wide and inflorescences mostly more than 2 cm long. The variety capillacea (L.H. Baily) Cronquist is smaller, more slender and is confined mostly to the coastal plain. 


Frye, Christopher T. and Lea, C. 2005. Field, Taxonomic, and Nomenclatural Notes on Carex, Section Stellulatae (Cyperaceae) in Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist, 12(3) 361-373.


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


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




Michael Hough 2010