Carex buxbaumii Wahlenb. - Buxbaum's Sedge


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Carex buxbaumii - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Cyperaceae


Section Atratae


Rich fens, marshes, wet meadows.




Circumboreal, south in North America to NC, KY, AR, and CA.


Long-rhizomatous perennial, 30-70 cm, the stems arising singly or few together, strongly aphyllopodic (new growth not surrounded by old sheaths from previous years); leaves elongate, 2-4 mm wide; spikes mostly 2-5, approximate or somewhat remote, erect or closely ascending, sessile or the lower ones borne on a peduncle; terminal spike gynaecandrous, 1-3 cm; lateral spikes pistillate, about as long or shorter; bract subtending lowest spike sheathless or nearly so; pistillate scale lanceolate to lance-ovate, brown to purplish-black with a usually paler midrib, surpassing the perigynia, tapering to an awn-tip 0.5-3 mm long; perigynia 2.7-4.3 mm, beakless or with a very short beak, elliptic, firm-walled, light gray-green, densely papillose, 2-ribbed and with 6-8 faint nerves on each face; achene trigonous, nearly filling body of perigynia.


Fruiting June to September

Wetland indicator: OBL

The contrasting light gray-green perigynia and dark brown scales are rather distinctive. More common in the northern part of its range, it is widely distributed across the lower 48 but rare in most states.


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